ESCC’s Gain is ODU’s Loss

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James Shaeffer of ESCC

By Linda Cicoira James M. Shaeffer, a dean at Old Dominion University and a resident of Norfolk, Va., will become the new president of the Eastern Shore Community College, effective July 1, according to an announcement made Tuesday by Glenn Dubois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community College System.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity,” Shaeffer said. “During my on-campus interview I was struck by the connection the community shares with the college, the sense of pride the students have for ESCC, and the dedication the faculty and staff demonstrate for the institution’s mission.”

Shaeffer was selected from 92 applicants across the nation. The top four spoke at recent sessions at the school.

He will succeed Linda Thomas-Glover, the college’s fourth president, who retired at the beginning of 2018 after serving for nine years. Billy Greer, a former Virginia Wesleyan College president, has served as ESCC’s interim president since January 2018.

Shaeffer said the college’s new academic building will become a symbol of renewal for ESCC.

“Together, I believe we can create a new model for an effective and efficient twenty-first century small college that elevates the communities it serves,” he stated.

“Jim’s career in higher education has spanned more than 30 years, with a heavy emphasis in workforce development training with multi-state experience,” said DuBois. “There is a unique set of challenges and opportunities at ESCC and we’re excited to see what Jim’s nontraditional path to the presidency can help us achieve there.”

“Our board is very pleased to hire Dr. Shaeffer after a highly competitive and thorough four-month search, vetting and selection process,” said Jeffrey B. Holland, chair of the ESCC board. “Jim Schaeffer brings an exceptional combination of experience, talent, energy and vision to our college. Jim’s portfolio of skills and resourcefulness will be a catalyst for the innovative transformation for the institution.”

Shaeffer began his 40 years in education as a middle school instructor in the Kansas City School District in 1979. Since then, he has worked at the University of Wyoming and the University of North Dakota, where he began in 1996, rising from an associate dean to an associate vice president. In 2005, he became associate vice provost and an associate professor at James Madison University.

Since 2014, he has been the founding dean of the College of Continuing Education and Professional Development at ODU. Shaeffer earned a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University, a master’s degree from Kansas State University, and a doctorate from Northwestern University.

Originally a branch of the University of Virginia, the ESCC joined the Virginia Community College System in 1971. The college was accredited and granted membership in the Southern Association of College Schools Commission on Colleges in 1973 and moved to its current location in 1974.