Colorado Mountain College hires new dean
SUMMIT COUNTY – Leah L. Bornstein, former division director at Colorado Mountain College’s Silverthorne Center, will return to Summit County and CMC next month to be the new campus dean.
Bornstein worked with CMC for four years in the mid-1990s. She has been the chief academic officer at Lamar Community College in southeast Colorado for about a year and refers to her upcoming move to Summit County as a “return home.”
She is replacing Tim Hoopingarner, who is retiring after 18 years in the position.
After more than 20 years working in higher education administration at a variety of institutions, including community colleges, four-year liberal arts colleges, universities and overseas, Bornstein believes the community college mission is the best fit for her.
“It’s exciting, it’s entrepreneurial, it serves the direct needs of a variety of different populations within the community,” she said.
Bornstein is particularly excited about returning to Summit County.
“The mountains are definitely a soul home for me,” Bornstein said. “Compared to other communities within the CMC district, Summit County really resonates with me.”
Whether it’s the county’s circular layout around Dillon Reservoir or the community-
oriented feeling, Bornstein said, she feels a strong connection with the area.
Bornstein also is looking forward to working with the staff at the local CMC campus – some of which she has worked with before, some of which she hasn’t, but all of which is “professional,” “knowledgeable” and “works well together,” she said.
“That fits me, and I certainly hope I fit them.”
According to Robert Ritschel, who chaired the search committee charged with selecting the final candidates and making a recommendation to CMC’s acting president Robert Spuhler, Bornstein brings the “entire package” to the college, campus and community.
The search committee was impressed with Bornstein’s leadership experience, particularly in the community college arena, her knowledge of the Summit County campus and community and her desire to “put students first,” Ritschel said.
Though no staff members served on the selection committee, they were invited to interview the three final candidates – Bornstein; Frances Feinerman, senior research associate for the Wyoming Community College Commission; and Barbara Rice, vice-president at College of the Redwoods, Mendocino Coast campus in California – when they visited the campus three weeks ago. The staff made its recommendation to Spuhler separately from the selection committee.
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