Two candidates emerge as finalists


The x for AC’s new president narrows down as the Amarillo College Board of Regents unanimously announces two finalists for the position.

During the Wednesday’s special meeting, the board convened in a closed session to discuss the six potential applicants who were recommended by the community college executive search firm, Gold Hill Associates. AC Regent Paul Proffer, who chaired the presidential search advisory committee of 20 members said the the overall process was a very difficult one as each candidate held strong backgrounds in their search criteria.

“The committee, through the entire process, put in hours and hours of studying these applicants, participating in the interviews and providing honest opinions on who they think would be best for Amarillo College,” said AC Regent Paul Proffer, in a news release. “It was tough, because all of the applicants that we were given were very talented and successful, each equally impressive, but in the end, we found two that really stood out.”

When the meeting was opened to the public, an instant motion was passed to vote and resulted with Dr. Andrew Browne and Dr. Laura Boyer selected.

Dr. Andrew W. Bowne, Ed.D., holds master’s and doctoral degrees in educational leadership from Western Michigan University. With a distinguished career spanning over two decades, he served as president and CEO of Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan., from 2020 to 2024, overseeing a student body of approximately 44,000. Before this, he held key leadership roles at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis, Ind., and Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan. Dr. Bowne has been recognized for his leadership with prestigious fellowships from the Aspen Institute.

Dr. Laura Boyer, Ed.D., currently serves as vice president for academic success at Northeast Lakeview College within the Alamo Community College District. Additionally, she has held roles as dean of institutional research, effectiveness, and strategic planning at South Texas College. Dr. Boyer demonstrates her commitment to leadership development, having participated in prestigious programs such as the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Institute for Higher Educational Management and the American Association of Community Colleges Future Presidents Institute. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership from Lamar University in 2016, a master’s in adult education from Texas A&M University—Kingsville in 2004, and a bachelor’s degree in music and psychology from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., in 1994.

“Both have very different but evidently effective styles. Their interest in data to show outcomes, as well as their love for students, is something that we saw and gravitated towards when we interviewed them,” Proffer said in a news release. “I believe that either one of the two would be excellent for Amarillo College, and would help to take the college even farther than we have come.”

Amarillo College initiated its presidential search last summer following former President Russell Lowery-Hart’s move to the chancellorship of Austin Community College. As the search remains ongoing, Denese Skinner, vice president of student affairs, will continue to fulfill the role of interim president at AC until a finalist is selected.

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