Dr. John Selmon to Become Next Muskegon Community College President in July

Dr. John Selmon

Dr. John Selmon

The Muskegon Community College Board of Trustees voted unanimously in a special meeting on April 27, selecting Dr. John Selmon as the college’s next president. He will assume office on July 1, 2022, when Dr. Dale Nesbary officially retires after 13 years in office.

The national search to replace Nesbary began in January 2022 and attracted 49 candidates. The field was narrowed to three finalists, who visited campus earlier this month for interviews and tours.

“When I went to school here, I thought the frontline representatives, the frontline advertisers of this school were the teachers, the instructors, and the support staff,” said Trustee Roy Portenga in nominating Selmon for the position.  “I have never seen staff and instructors so supportive of a person as they were of John. Additionally, we have all had interactions with John now for 11 years. We have seen for ourselves what he can do for this school, both in talking and listening. For the morale of this school, for the best support given to our front line, I think John Selmon is the right person.”

Trustee Donald Crandall, who seconded the nomination, added that the consistency of support for Selmon was displayed across all sectors, both internally and externally.

Trustee Nancy Frye, in praising the quality of the three finalists, said, “I am sure you will agree with me that three were well chosen. For John to the rise to the top, John, that says a lot about you, who you are and what you have accomplished.”

Selmon, visibly moved after the trustees’ vote and receiving a series of vocal standing ovations from the faculty, staff and community members in attendance, thanked the Board and the MCC community for its confidence in him.

“It’s just an awesome day for me,” he said. “This is the stuff you dream about. When it does come true, it does become emotional. These jobs are special. Not everyone is going to become a president of a college. So it is a dream come true. I appreciate the opportunity to live out my dream here at Muskegon Community College.”

A widely respected administrator at MCC since coming to campus in May 2011, Selmon currently serves as the provost/executive vice president providing leadership and oversight for Academic Affairs, Athletics, Facilities, and Student Services.  He has more than three decades of experience in key leadership roles at both public and private higher education institutions.

Selmon spearheaded the collegewide Achieving the Dream initiative resulting in a national designation for MCC as a Leader College, national recognition for MCC’s student success initiatives, and subsequent rankings for MCC among the best community colleges in Michigan and the U.S.

He was project lead for several major MCC building projects including the capital outlay grants. These included the $19.8 million Sturrus Technology Center, the $14.1 million Health and Wellness Center, the $9 million Art and Music Building, and the $805,00 Automotive Center. He was also a co-lead for the $9.6 million Science Center.

At MCC, Selmon instituted significant emergency practices and procedures to greatly enhance campus safety and security.  In 2015, he was at the forefront of U.S. community colleges by establishing the “And Justice for All….” discussions which have engaged college and community members. The program focuses on proactively increasing meaningful dialogue on divisive issues affecting the nation, such as race, law enforcement, bias, defamation, economic injustice, incarceration, and gun control.

“I am strategically focused and passionate about developing policies, programs, and systems to improve access, completion and equity in higher education,” said Selmon, who is a member of the Higher Learning Commission’s Peer Corps and serves as a peer reviewer for other colleges in their accreditation efforts.

Prior to coming to MCC, Selmon served as the Executive Dean of Student Services at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, MI, after working in Student Services at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, GA. He began his career in Michigan with Grand Rapids Junior College prior to joining the Davenport University Educational System, where he held numerous administrative roles during his 18-year tenure leading to his position as the Davenport system’s group vice president. He has served on numerous community organizations.

The Mansfield, Ohio, native earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition, he has participated in several leadership programs, most recently a 2020 graduate of the Aspen Institute’s Presidential Fellows Program.

An accomplished student-athlete, Selmon was a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American wrestler on Grand Rapids Community College’s national championship team. He was elected to the NJCAA Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1990. At the University of Nebraska, he won the Big Eight Conference Outstanding Wrestler Award, was a two-time Big Eight Conference champion and a two-time Big Eight Academic Team honoree. He was an NCAA All-American who represented the United States in international competition.

The 2002 recipient of Grand Rapids Community College’s Distinguished Alumni Award, Selmon and his wife, Zephra, have been married for 35 years and have two adult children, Jonathan and Jacquelyn.

Muskegon Community College Directors/Presidents

Samuel S. Brooks (1926-1927)
Allen G. Umbreit (1931-1958)
D.R. Henry (1926-1931)
William G. Dwyer (1958-1960)
James M. Snyder (1960-1964)
Ralph A. Austermiller (1964-1970)
Charles M. Greene (1970-1976)
Robert Keesen (Interim President 1976-1977)
John G. Thompson (1977-1987)
James L. Stevenson (1986-1995)
Frank P. Marczak (1995-2004)
Diana Osborn (Interim President 2004-2005)
David L. Rule (2005-2008)
Diana Osborn (Interim President 2008-2009)
Dale K. Nesbary (2009-Present)