Yavapai College has hired Stuart Blacklaw, Ph.D. as its new vice president of instruction and student services. Blacklaw replaces Dr. Greg Gillespie, who accepted a job as president of Ventura Community College in Ventura, Calif., this summer. Blacklaw is scheduled to start at Yavapai College on November 1.
Blacklaw was chosen from among 85 applicants from across the nation. His most recent position was vice president for instruction at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In his new position, Blacklaw will be responsible for Yavapai College’s 76 programs of study, 32 degree programs and 57 certificate programs. He will also oversee the College Library, Instructional Support & Improvement, Student Services, and Teaching & eLearning Support (TeLS).
“To have 85 colleagues from across the nation apply for this position speaks volumes of the positive reputation of Yavapai College,” Dr. Penny Wills, Yavapai College president, said. “It was a thorough selection process, and we’re thrilled that Stuart agreed to join Yavapai College.”
“From the moment I stepped on to campus, I knew this was a good place to be,” Blacklaw noted. “There was warmth and positive energy everywhere. As I traveled around the area, I discovered that the environment I found so welcoming on campus was actually part of the culture of the community. It was so easy to picture my family there, enjoying all that the region and the College has to offer.”
Blacklaw has served in higher education as an adjunct and full-time faculty member, a program director, department chair, faculty senate president, assistant, associate and full dean. Blacklaw has a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Olivet (MI) College and a master’s degree in Telecommunication Arts from the University of Michigan. He completed most of the coursework toward his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and completed the coursework and dissertation through Capella University, earning a Ph.D. in Higher Education, Academic Administration in 2008. His dissertation identified best practices in the development of assessment strategies that lead to instructional improvement.
Blacklaw worked in radio, television and print journalism before and while attending the University of Michigan. He subsequently became an assistant professor of Communication at Olivet College, where he taught media courses, advised student media and other organizations and served in various leadership roles.
He won awards for leadership and for teaching, including the Livingston Professorship, the highest faculty teaching honor awarded by Olivet College.
After 12 years as a full-time faculty member, Blacklaw became the associate dean for curriculum and assessment at Jefferson Community College in Watertown, New York and later served a similar role as a dean at Monroe Community College in Rochester. Blacklaw also served as an assistant dean in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Grand Rapids Community College.
Stuart collects and listens to a wide variety of music, and he enjoys golfing, “mostly,” he notes, “for the opportunity…to stroll through dense woods and wade in shallow ponds.”