A Mount Pleasant community college president is coming to Canyon to take on a new strategic planning position at West Texas A&M University.
Bradley Johnson, president of Northeast Texas Community College since 2008 and a WT alum, was named the university’s vice president for strategic relations.
Johnson will report directly to WT President Walter Wendler, who is developing a long-range strategic plan guiding the university through the year 2035 that includes a focus on transfer students.
Johnson will be charged with overseeing the university’s strategic initiatives and building relationships with stakeholders, according to a university news release.
He will also focus on transfer and other non-traditional students and work with community colleges to make WT the “premier university for its education of transfer students.”
Johnson began his higher education career at Amarillo College in 1994. He was vice president and dean of development there when he left in 2008.
“I am truly fortunate to have the opportunity to join the outstanding WT family as the university seeks to become the preeminent transfer university in Texas,” Johnson said in a statement.
Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree from WT in 1981 and a master’s in counseling from WT in 1984.
He received a master’s in higher education from Texas Tech University in 1999 and a doctorate in educational studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2004.
Wendler said students, higher education and regional and state needs are changing. Students are entering WT with degrees and college credits already earned in high school.
“They have special sets of needs and we need to really find ways to welcome them to the WT community,” Wendler said. “And Brad’s going to be responsible for those relations and finding ways to bring in transfer students, people who have a lot of hours in dual credit, students who may not be traditional freshmen.”
Wendler said his goal is for WT to have the highest percentage in the state of graduates who already hold associate degrees.
“I want to be the best friend a community college president ever had,” he said.
Wendler, who is nearing the end of his first year as president, said he plans to talk about the development of his long-range strategic plan – called WT 125 – during his September inauguration.
Other parts of the plan he has talked about are adding doctoral programs and developing the interstate corridor and relationship between Canyon and Amarillo.