By Assunta Ng
Northwest Asian Weekly
Seattleite Mark Mitsui will begin his new job as president of Portland Community College (PCC) on Aug. 29. He will head four campuses, comprising of 90,000 students in five counties, covering an area of over 1,500 square miles in Oregon.
Being the PCC president is equivalent to the chancellor position in Seattle Colleges system. The 19th largest community college system in the nation, PCC’s budget is twice as large as Seattle Colleges’.
Prior to serving as president of North Seattle College and vice president for South Seattle College, Mitsui was deputy assistant secretary for Community Colleges in Washington D.C. since 2013, within the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education for the U.S. Department of Education. His job was to advance President Obama’s community college agenda through partnerships with numerous federal agencies and national stakeholders.
Mitsui lost his bid for the Seattle College chancellor job in April to Dr. Shouan Pan. He got the PCC job offer in late July, beating two other finalists. The PCC board of directors had voted unanimously for Mitsui, citing his transformative leadership and strategic thinking.
“The Board of Directors was tremendously impressed by President Mitsui’s passion for the transformative power of community colleges, and by his clear understanding of PCC’s complex environment,” said Gene Pitts, the chairman of the PCC Board of Directors.
“He brings demonstrated strengths as a strategic thinker and transparent decision-maker, and he is a passionate advocate for social justice and inclusion. Coupled with his wealth of regional and national connections, President Mitsui is a natural fit for PCC and one who we believe will benefit the students and communities we serve,” said Pitts.
Mitsui is now in Portland. He was not available for comment.
Mitsui holds a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from Western Washington University. He has pursued doctoral studies in Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Washington, where he earned his master’s degree.
Founded in 1961, PCC has eight workforce training and educational centers in addition to four campuses.
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