Gogebic Community College
A Bold Place to Work!

GCC Presidential Search

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Presidential Search

The Board of Trustees currently invites applications for the position of President of Gogebic Community College (GCC).

School Mission and Philosophy:

Gogebic Community College is a learning community that contributes to academic, cultural, economic, and social success for our students and region. 

GCC Mission and Core Values


About Us and the Position

For over 90 years, GCC has offered a unique experience, surrounded by Lake Superior and multiple ski hills, which includes our very own Mt. Zion Recreational Complex, and features a panoramic view of Gogebic Community College and the surrounding area. Mt. Zion is an on-campus college-owned facility affording community recreation; it also provides practical experience for Gogebic’s Ski Area Management program functioning as an on-campus laboratory. Mt. Zion serves downhill, cross-country, snowboarding, and snowtubing enthusiasts. 

GCC supports continued economic growth throughout the Upper Peninsula in partnering with local business and industry to develop highly skilled employees. Our committed and experienced educators’ use of cutting-edge technology and training ensures a bright future laden with opportunities.  GCC offers a wide range of degree and certificate programs.

The college also operates the Copper Country Center in Houghton, Michigan. This center also offers dual enrollment, early college, and transferable credits, degrees, and certificate programs.
The Copper Country Center accounts for approximately 40% of our college enrollment.

GCC successfully offers a variety of online courses and programs and was named a Top Online Community College Provider in the State of Michigan by TheBestColleges.org. GCC has earned Aspen Top 10 recognition multiple times and prides itself on having developed a culture that provides a unique personal student experience for each of its students, with a current 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. GCC continually aspires to be a student-centered institution.

GCC plays a significant role in the region’s education environment and is a leader in student success for the upper Great Lakes area. GCC is nestled on the western end of Michigan’s majestic Upper Peninsula along the Michigan-Northern Wisconsin border, offering year-round adventure and attractions. Ironwood’s proximity to Lake Superior, inland lakes, rivers, waterfalls, forests, ski hills and trails combine to offer one of the finest outdoor regional destinations in the Midwest. The region attracts numerous visitors, both for the beauty during the seasons with many opportunities for fishing and hunting, and to the snow belt for winter sports, particularly skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling.

GCC is poised for growth and seeks a leader who can implement a strategic vision and serve as the catalyst to take the college into a successful future. The faculty, staff, and Board of Trustees are ready to support a leader who will inspire and empower others, create a positive and uplifting environment, and who will engage with the regional community. Furthermore, the President will lead a team of hard working, energetic, and dedicated employees.

The President will be an individual who understands the challenges and opportunities specific to GCC. Due to the rural nature of the college and the ways in which the community is tightly connected, the President must develop an understanding of the region and establish connections, while also building upon the academic mission of GCC and its long-term sustainability. 

  • Increase enrollment base and improve retention.
  • Strengthen the bonds among all faculty, staff, students, and community members.
  • Provide training that leads to regional employment opportunities.
  • Attract and retain employees and students.
  • Reach out to underserved and non-traditional audiences.
  • Develop innovative program offerings to attract students from outside the immediate area, including technical certifications and new technology.
  • Continue to build relationships with schools and employers to foster growth and serve student needs.
  • Leverage available on-campus housing.
  • Partner with local economic and workforce development organizations and businesses to foster economic growth, identify obstacles to educational access and remove those obstacles.
  • Bring energy, innovation, creativity, and a commitment to the mission of the community college.
  • Implement a strategic vision and offer strategies to develop sustainable growth for student enrollment and successful retention outcomes.
  • Involve faculty, staff, and students in creating success for the institution.
  • Promote student success and learning.
  • Address unique needs of underserved populations and implement initiatives to increase future student participation.
  • Strengthen cross-campus and off-campus communication and collaboration.
  • Commit to equality of opportunity, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The following qualities and characteristics are sought in a new president who can:

  • Execute strategic vision and organizational development.
  • Act as an accessible, engaging, and bold leader.
  • Champion community service and involvement.
  • Lead by example and is present in the college community and local community.
  • Show experience in labor relations and collective bargaining.
  • Execute fiduciary management, budget preparation, and accepted fiscal practices.
  • Work with regional accrediting agencies and lead the effort toward institutional compliance.
  • Foster partnerships with local businesses and industries to develop relevant programs that address changing workforce and community needs.
  • Secure alternative funding sources for the institution.
  • Fundraise for the GCC Foundation.
  • Passionately advocate for the school, working with local, state, and federal government representatives and their respective offices.
  • Work effectively as a team member with the Board of Trustees.


  • Earned master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Senior level administrative leadership of 3-5 years.


  • An earned doctorate from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Teaching, academic, administrative, and/or student services experience, preferably at the community college level.

Presidential Candidate Finalists

Man with white hair posing for a picture outdoors.Timothy Kolesar, of Ironwood, MI is a GCC alum, and holds a Master of Arts in Education and a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Chemistry, Marketing and Management from Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI. His career spanned over 33 years at Luther L. Wright High School, Ironwood, MI in roles from teacher, assistant principal, middle school principal and lastly superintendent retiring in 2018.


Woman standing in a hallway, with arms crossed.Yolanda Lozano, of Ironwood, MI holds a Master of Science focusing on Quantitative Analysis, Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. She has held various professional positions in the business sector including director, technology coordinator, and product manager. Her background in teaching includes advanced placement, artificial intelligence and Robotics as well as her current position at GCC as the computer science instructor. She is also the cofounder and Chief Operating Officer of Computer Science Alliance based out of Albuquerque, NM.


Man in suit and tie posing for a picture.Chris Patritto, of Hurley, WI is a GCC alum, holds a Master of Science degree Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. He also holds a District Administrator Certification in Educational Administration. He is currently working with 55 school districts throughout Wisconsin and assists in drafting policies by aiding school boards and Superintendents to understand the various updates. He served in the Hurley School district for over 32 years in the roles of teacher, principal and finally as the District Administrator, retiring in 2019. Chris has been involved with GCC on several levels with Northwoods Manufacturing.


10/14/2023 Update:  The feedback surveys are now closed.  The next step in the process will be for the Board of Trustees to review the compilation of all of the surveys submitted.  The next board meeting is on October 24th in which the board will discuss the next step in this important process.  Thank you for your interest and participation.

12/1/2023 Update: Gogebic Community College is pleased to announce Mr. Chris Patritto, of Hurley, WI as its top candidate for the position of the President. The Trustees had the responsibility of setting the future direction of the college. “This is the most critical decision that the public has entrusted us with,” said GCC Board Chair, Susan Beals.

The college received applications, conducted interviews and studied the results of the surveys that were completed by stakeholders. Each finalist brought different skills to the table, and all had great enthusiasm.

“GCC is facing many challenges, as is every institution, some which we have some control over, others are beyond our control. We also have many amazing opportunities which our employees are exploring. It’s an exciting time for us. The stakeholders will assist the next President to lead us into a BOLD future,” said Beals.

A formal vote will take place pending a successful background/reference check and contract negotiations on Tuesday, December 19. A full press release will be forthcoming.

Gogebic Community College is an equal opportunity institution and adheres to a policy that no qualified person shall be discriminated against because of age, race, color, religion, marital status, sex/gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, height, weight, national origin, disability, political affiliation, familial status, veteran status, or genetics in any program or activity for which it is responsible. If you have a disability and need special accommodations, please contact Accessibility Services at supportservices@gogebic.edu. 

 If you have questions or complaints related to compliance with this policy, please contact: Director of Human Resources or the Vice President of Student Services and Athletics (students), Gogebic Community College, E4946 Jackson Rd, Ironwood, Michigan 49938, 906-932-4231, equity@gogebic.edu; U.S. Department of Education, Citigroup Center, 500 W. Madison, Suite 1475, Chicago, IL 60661, phone number (312) 730-1560, fax (312) 730- 1576, ocr.chicago@ed.gov. Gogebic Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org, 800.621.7440. Read the full policy here. 

Contact Us

Debbie Janczak, Director of Human Resources, debbiej@gogebic.edu, 906-307-1324

Wendy Hagstrom, Executive Assistant to the President, wendyh@gogebic.edu, 906-307-1201


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