New dean combines roles


As Workforce Development continues to expand at Miles Community College, the school has created a new position to keep the program moving forward.

MCC has named Dr. Kirk Lacy the new Interim Dean of Workforce Development and Continuing Education. Lacy began working at his new position last month; his contract runs for a year, when the position will then be re-evaluated.

“Originally, we had kind of a split position, with someone overseeing workforce and someone overseeing community education,” said MCC President Stacy Klippenstein. “My goal was to give one person with the knowledge and skill to take those two and connect them together, as well as connect them to our academic programs. The one-year contract will allow us to take a look at the direction we have been currently heading in.”

The primary role of Lacy’s new position will be to establish and maintain strong relationships with the local government agencies, non-profits, area employers and educational institutions. Workforce training opportunities, community outreach opportunities and further development of MCC’s comprehensive community college are the major areas he will be developing.

“MCC has really made a commitment to workforce training for eastern Montana as well as serving the community with Community Education,” Klippenstein said. “Having someone of the caliber and educational level who understands both is critical, and Kirk brings that to MCC, so we’re very excited to have him in that capacity.”

Possessing a strong background in communication and education, Lacy earned his doctorate of education from Montana State University, emphasizing in e-learning, instruction, and program administration. Since 2001, Lacy has published and presented numerous papers on alternative models for academic delivery, enrollment growth, assessment models for distance education, and online course preparation. In 2005, Dr. Lacy was awarded the Walter and Charlotte Pippenger Award for Excellence in Education Innovations.

“Dr. Lacy brings important, senior-level experience to workforce development at Miles Community College,” said Dr. Theodore Hanley, MCC vice president of academic affairs. “We are indeed happy to bring him on board as a member of our team.”

Jessie Dufner, vice president of student success and institutional research at MCC, agreed.

“Dr. Lacy brings with him a depth of experience that will help advance Miles Community College’s strategic enrollment management initiatives,” Dufner explained. “I am looking forward to working with him to create pathways between workforce and community outreach and other educational programming offered at Miles Community College.”

Lacy served previously as president and CEO of Global EduVentures, Inc. in Billings, as executive director for international outreach at MSU-Billings, as the associate dean for both the City College and the College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning at MSU-Billings and as the executive director for the MSU-Billings Outreach & Distance Education Programs.