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2013 a look back: New NWC president takes helm

After a lengthy search, the Northwest College Board of Trustees hired Stefani Hicswa in February as the college’s new president.

Hicswa, formerly president of Miles Community College in Miles City, Mont., replaced former President Paul Prestwich, who resigned after five years with the college.

Board members said Hicswa demonstrated the strengths Northwest needed to lead the college and continue healing past rifts between administrators, faculty, staff and students.

Hicswa was chosen from a field of three finalists, each of whom mixed with campus and community members at a reception in his or her honor and made public presentations on campus. Many people who met her then commented on her remarkable ability to remember their names and who they were.

Hicswa’s administration appeared to be off to a positive start in the fall. NWC Faculty Organization President Jeannie Hunt told the board in December that faculty members are pleased that their input is being sought regarding issues at the college.

Northwest College’s experience proved dynamically opposite to that of the University of Wyoming, which underwent a presidential search at the same time. That search, conducted by the UW board in secrecy, resulted in the hiring of Robert Sternberg, who resigned in November. His short presidency was marked with conflict and prompted — or demanded — the resignation of the university’s provost, four deans and three assistant provosts.

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