FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Communications
Jan. 7, 2015 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College President Dr. Steven C. Ender announced today that Dr. Bill Pink has been appointed the college’s vice president and dean for workforce development.
Pink, who currently is vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City, will officially join the GRCC leadership team on March 23, 2015.
“Dr. Pink has been deeply engaged in talent and workforce development in his role at Oklahoma State University,” Ender said. “His expertise and outstanding leadership will help further advance the educational opportunities GRCC provides to close the skills gap and provide the workforce talent West Michigan needs.”
Pink initially was one of three finalists for the role of GRCC Provost, and it was this process – in combination with the upcoming retirement of the School for Workforce Development’s current dean, Fiona Hert – that prompted discussion around creating a new leadership role at GRCC, Ender said.
Incorporating the role of dean for workforce development into an executive leadership position provides an opportunity for GRCC to strengthen both its for-credit occupational education programs, as well as its customized business and industry training programs, Ender said. Pink will work closely with GRCC’s Provost Laurie Chesley and become a member of the college’s Deans’ Council, as well as assume roles within other academic committees.
“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Pink to GRCC,” Chesley said. “It is a great opportunity to combine his knowledge of academic operations and workforce development as we continue to adapt and grow to meet West Michigan’s need for a skilled workforce.”
Prior to taking on his current post at OSU-Oklahoma City in 2011, Pink was associate dean for the College of Education and Professional Studies at University of Central Oklahoma. He has been an educator for 25 years, teaching and, or, coaching in Oklahoma, Nebraska and Oregon.
“I am very excited to join the GRCC family,” Pink said. “The college has great momentum towards developing more industry and workforce relationships in West Michigan, and I look forward to applying my skills and experience toward the continuation of that endeavor.”
Pink earned his associate degree from York College in Nebraska, bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Christian University, master’s degree from University of Central Oklahoma and doctoral degree from University of Oklahoma. He was a successful student-athlete in college playing basketball and earning awards for his academic and athletic achievements.
His community involvement includes serving as worship minister at Alameda Church of Christ in Norman, Okla., as a member of the board of directors for Family Builders of Oklahoma City, as former national conference co-chair for Dream Deferred: The Future of African-American Education, and as a member of the selection committee for the National Merit Scholarship Council. He is a sought after public speaker for topics associated with diversity, leadership and faith-based presentations, and teaches public speaking and athletic administration courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.