Dr. Nancy J. McCallin, President of the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), announced today that Dr. Timothy Alvarez will be the fifth president of Otero Junior College (OJC), ending a five-month search conducted by college and community representatives.
Dr. Alvarez is expected to start in mid-July.
“After completing a nationwide search, we are proud to announce the selection of Dr. Alvarez – he is an outstanding leader who is committed to innovation, excellence, and the communities we serve,” said Dr. McCallin, CCCS president. “When we began this process, CCCS identified several criteria for the position, including finding candidates who were recognized leaders in higher education, dedicated to economic and workforce development, and committed to building a thriving community through student success. We are thrilled that Dr. Alvarez has not only met, but has exceeded the high bar we set for this critical position.”
The search committee worked tirelessly to screen, interview, and conduct community forums – which were open to staff, faculty, students, and the public – in order to identify those most suited to be considered for the role of president.
Dr. Alvarez commented on the larger number of community members who attended his forum.
“I was overwhelmed by the turnout at the open forum,” said Dr. Alvarez. “It sent a powerful message about the passion and commitment that staff, faculty, and residents have for OJC and the surrounding community.”
Dr. Alvarez has been serving as the Senior Fellow for NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education for the past four months. From 2014-2018, he served as Vice President for Student Affairs at North Dakota State University, where he oversaw co-curricular aspects for the Division of Student Affairs for nearly 1,500 students, and managed a staff of 350 and growing $65 million budget.
Prior to his role in North Dakota, Dr. Alvarez spent 15 years in various leadership and teaching roles at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he also received his Ph.D. in educational leadership. During his role as Assistant Vice Chancellor, he focused on multicultural programs and increasing funding for student support services such as TRIO and Upward Bound. Upon completing his doctoral degree, he taught for five years as an assistant professor in the department for educational administration.
Having graduated and worked at a community college, Dr. Alvarez has a passion and commitment to the community college and its mission of access and success for all students.
“I am honored to be named President for Otero Junior College,” said Alvarez. “I look forward to promoting the academic and personal development of all students and helping them to realize their goals through education.”
Dr. Alvarez and his wife, Lori, look forward to being active members of La Junta.
Dr. Alvarez will follow President Jim Rizzuto, who has served as president of OJC since 2001. Colorado Community College System president, Dr. Nancy McCallin, expressed her gratitude for Rizzuto’s countless contributions and legacy he will leave.
“We thank President Rizzuto for his outstanding service to not only OJC, but to the State of Colorado and southeast Colorado. During his 17-year presidency, he has transformed Otero’s campus, the student experience, and established a strong foundation to better serve the needs of the surrounding communities,” said Dr. McCallin.