Yavapai College names new Vice President of Instruction and Student Development

Ron Liss

Ron Liss

Yavapai College has hired Ron Liss, Ph.D., as its new Vice President of Instruction and Student Development.

Liss succeeds Stuart Blacklaw, Ph.D., who left in July 2015 to become provost at the Community College of Allegheny County in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area. Scott Farnsworth, who has served as VP of Instruction and Student Development since July, will return to his previous post as Dean of Sciences, Health and Public Safety when Liss assumes his new position on June 1.

Liss will be responsible for Yavapai College’s multiple degree and certificate programs, as well as overseeing the college library, instruction support and improvement, student development and teaching and e-learning support (TeLS).

“As always, we attracted an impressive pool of candidates and had two very strong finalists,” said Yavapai College President Dr. Penny Wills. “Dr. Liss brings a wealth of experience to us and will be a wonderful addition to our community.”

Most recently, Liss worked as the western campus president for Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) from July 2013 to July 2015, reporting to the college president. In this position, he was the chief academic and administrative officer for a comprehensive campus and the Brunswick University Center totaling 11,000-plus students per semester. He then assumed the role of vice president and special advisor for Workforce, Community, and Economic Development, working with the executive vice president in that role.

Liss arrived at Tri-C having served as vice president for academic and student affairs at Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) in New Mexico from 2007 to 2013. During his time in Santa Fe, Liss was a member of the high school redesign committee for the local school district. He developed an early college charter school, served on the Quality New Mexico Board of Examiners and on an executive team for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education task group, “The Two Year Landscape.” He left there with a distinguished service award, the only award presented by the college’s board of trustees.

Prior to his work at SFCC, Liss held numerous positions at Montgomery College in Maryland, including dean of business, management, chemistry and information sciences; director of distance learning and academic innovation; and director of academic and student affairs. He spent 15 years at the Community College of Baltimore County as faculty, department chair, division chair and director of instructional technology. He started his career as a high school teacher.

Yavapai College, which opened in 1969, provides quality higher learning, cultural resources and economic development support for the diverse populations of Yavapai County. The college offers a wide range of academic programs to students at facilities in Prescott, Clarkdale (the Verde Valley Campus), Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Sedona and the Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) near the Prescott Airport.