816 North

Two Metropolitan community colleges campuses get new leaders

Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City has named new presidents for two of its five campuses.

The Longview campus in Lee’s Summit and the Maple Woods campus in Kansas City, North welcomed new leaders this month to replace presidents who announced their retirements earlier this year.

Kirk A. Nooks, Ed.D., will be the new leader at Longview. Nooks is now campus dean for Georgia Highlands College’s Marietta campus and is executive liaison for diversity initiatives there.

Nooks replaces Fred Grogan who has been president at MCC-Longview for 15 years and with the campus for a total 28 years. He retires at the end of June.

Utpal K. Goswami, who holds a Ph.D. and serves as vice president of instruction at College of the Redwoods in California, is the new president at Maple Woods. Goswami replaces former president Merna Saliman who retired at the end of December after 14 years of leadership there. In 2011-2012, Goswami was interim president and superintendent of the California college.

Both officially take on presidential duties here in July.

Mark James, chancellor of the MCC system, said Nooks “brings valuable real-world experience as an engineer on top of an impressive list of accomplishments in higher education.”

Nooks has more than 15 years’ experience in education, business and engineering.

Before arriving at his current job in Georgia, Nooks, had served in various leadership roles at Northern Virginia Community College. He previously had worked at Prince George’s Community College in Maryland.

Before his higher education career, he worked in engineering at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center and as an account executive with Core Management Resources Inc.

During Nooks’ four years on the Georgia campus, enrollment increased by more than 35 percent. Student services were expanded, and academic and office space more than doubled.

Nooks holds a doctorate in higher education administration from The George Washington University and an MBA in marketing and a bachelor of science in industrial management from Mercer University.

MCC officials said Goswami has been both teacher and administrator. And over the years, he has been involved in developing more than a dozen new educational programs and has supported the development of more than 160,000 square feet of educational space. He has helped obtain more than $15 million in external funds through grants and partnerships and has successfully managed large budgets under adverse fiscal conditions.

Goswami holds a master’s degree in development economics from Boston University and both a master’s and doctorate in economics from Southern Methodist University.

James said campuses are going through an “unprecedented transformation” focused on student success, preparing students to move on to a four-year university or to pursue a career in business and industry, and “Goswami brings an extensive record of success in both of these areas.”