GRCC names VP and dean for workforce development


Bill Pink. Courtesy GRCC

A Grand Rapids Community College provost finalist will assume a new executive leadership position at the school.

GRCC announced recently that Bill Pink will serve as the vice president and dean for workforce development at the school, a new leadership role created during the community college’s search for a provost.

Pink will assume the workforce development role on March 23. He is currently vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City. He was also one of the three finalists for the GRCC provost position.

“I am very excited to join the GRCC family,” Pink said. “The college has great momentum toward 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.”

Steven Ender, GRCC president, said discussion of creating the new role was prompted during the search for a new provost combined with the upcoming retirement of the current dean of the School of Workforce Development, Fiona Hert.

“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.”

The executive leadership aspect of the dean position will allow GRCC to build on its for-credit occupational education programs and its customized business and industry training programs. As the new vice president and dean of workforce development, Pink will become a member of the Deans’ Council at GRCC, participate in other academic committees, and work closely with current Provost Laurie Chesley.

In response to Pink’s appointment, Chesley said it is a great opportunity to combine his knowledge of academic operations and workforce development to address the growing labor needs in the West Michigan region.

Pink has a professional background that includes serving in a number of academic leadership positions and teaching or coaching for 25 years in Oklahoma, Nebraska and Oregon. Before serving as the vice president for academic affairs at OSU-Oklahoma City, Pink worked at University of Central Oklahoma as the associate dean for the College of Education and Professional Studies.

He attended York College in Nebraska, where he earned his associate’s degree, before going on to gain a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Christian University. Pink also earned a master’s degree and doctoral degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. He also has served with a number of community organizations, including: worship minister at Alameda Church of Christ in Norman, Okla.; board member at Family Builders of Oklahoma City; and selection committee member for the National Merit Scholarship Council.

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