Chancellor and Presidents

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2012 Annual Report



Mark James: ChancellorMark James, chancellor

On Jan. 21, 2010, the Metropolitan Community College (MCC) Board of Trustees announced the selection of Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services Mark James as the college's next chancellor. As chancellor, Mark has focused the college vision on maximizing student success through a revamped strategic plan, expanded workforce training relationships with area businesses, improved strategic enrollment management and prioritized resource allocation through zero based budgeting.

Prior to joining MCC, Mark was appointed by Gov. Matt Blunt as director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety and State Homeland Security Advisor from 2005 through 2009. Mark oversaw the Missouri National Guard, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri State Water Patrol, State Emergency Management Agency, Division of Fire Safety, Capitol Police, Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, Gaming Commission, Veteran's Commission and Office of Homeland Security. He served as incident commander of 20 presidentially declared disasters in Missouri, revamped the State’s Emergency Operations Plan and championed a statewide interoperability of communications system.

Mark's public service began in 1978 with the Missouri State Highway Patrol where he worked as a trooper, undercover investigator and supervisor of the Intelligence Section. In 1987, he joined the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) where he spent 20 years advancing through the ranks of special agent in Kansas City to resident agent in charge of the Omaha Field Office, to chief of ATF's Intelligence Division in Washington, D.C. His final assignment was leading the four-state region of Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska as special agent in charge of the Kansas City Field Division. His career highlights with ATF included many notable cases such as the Oklahoma City Bombing, TWA Flight 800, Olympic Bombing in Atlanta, UBL, Columbine and the capture of the D.C. Snipers.

Mark currently serves on the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) homeland security policy committee, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Corporation, Full Employment Council and Missouri Community College Association Presidents and Chancellors Council.

Mark is a published author on Russian organized crime and domestic terrorism. He earned a master's degree in strategic intelligence from the National Intelligence University in Washington, D.C. and a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and administration from the University of Central Missouri. Based on his body of work, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Central Missouri, named a distinguished graduate of the National Intelligence University and made an Intelligence Fellow by the Director Central Intelligence.

Mark balances his career with sports and fitness. For more than 10 years, he has mentored student athletes coaching football and basketball while raising two children with his wife Debra. Debra and Mark are longtime residents and former business owners in the Northland of the Kansas City metropolitan area.   

Paul Long: MCC vice chancellor of educational servicesPaul Long, vice chancellor of academic affairs and technology

Teaching has been Paul Long's passion for more than 20 years. He began teaching at UMKC in 1986. From there he taught logic and ethics at the University of Kentucky and William Jewell and then philosophy at MCC-Penn Valley and MCC-Maple Woods.

Long received a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Kentucky and a bachelor in philosophy and political science from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership from the University of Missouri  St. Louis. He is a sought-after consultant and presenter concerning biomedical ethics and ethics in general.

He has been very active in his service to MCC and Maple Woods, as a list of some of the positions he has held reveals:

  • MCC-Maple Woods social science and business division chair
  • MCC-Maple Woods faculty association president
  • MCC-Maple Woods honors program coordinator
  • Faculty Senate member
  • Senate Curriculum Committee (SCC) chair
  • District Instructional Coordinating Committee (DICC) member
  • Joint Committee of SCC and DICC for Learning Enhancement Options chair
  • North Central Accreditation Steering Committee
  • Academic Freedom/Tenure Task Force member
  • Academic Probation Task Force member
  • Distance Education Committee member

He supports Doctors without Borders, Habitat For Humanity, Kemper Art Museum, Nelson-Atkins Art Museum and the Lyric Opera. Besides teaching, his passions include traveling, reading, playing the piano and "hanging out" with his wife Lisa. He is also a USA Swimming referee. He has two children, 14 and 18 years old.

Putting teaching aside for a while, he became vice chancellor in 2008. His goals: Continue to advance the quality of MCC's curriculum and instructional services, including distance education and traditional on-site classes, and increase the success rate of MCC students in developmental education. He will also focus on increasing assessment activities within the district. His philosophy: Get it done and have fun doing it.

Joe Seabrooks, president, MCC-Blue River

Joe Seabrooks, president, MCC-Penn Valley

Joseph Seabrooks, Jr. became president of MCC-Penn Valley in April, 2011. He joined MCC in October, 2007 as president of MCC-Blue River. Seabrooks came to MCC from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, where he was assistant vice chancellor for student affairs accountable for numerous departments including:

  • Enhanced learning center
  • First-year experience programs
  • International students and scholars
  • Off-campus connections office
  • Student support services
  • Office for non-traditional and commuter students
  • Pre-college programs

Prior to Fayetteville, Seabrooks served at the University of Missouri-Kansas City for more than a decade exhibiting a passion for student success and development. His positions there included:

  • Executive director of diversity in action
  • Director of minority student affairs
  • Assistant director of alumni and constituent relations
  • Instructor

He also championed strategic initiatives that led UMKC to restructure the way it manages affirmative action.

Seabrooks completed his higher education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he began as a student in 1989. During his undergraduate years, he was active with the African American Student Union, university athletics (four-year basketball letterman) and student government. He earned four degrees: an interdisciplinary doctorate in urban leadership and policy studies and education administration; an education specialist degree; a master's degree in higher education administration; and a bachelor's degree in psychology.

He has earned numerous leadership and achievement awards. He has also researched and lectured on the history and influence of hip-hop.

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Seabrooks is a first-generation college graduate. He is the loving husband of Leslie Seabrooks and the father of two sons.

Michael Banks, president, MCC-Blue RiverMichael Banks

Michael Banks never imagined that the lessons he learned as a theater designer and director over the last 25 years would help shape his role as a leader of Metropolitan Community College’s Blue River campus.

Banks joined MCC in March, 2012, and immediately saw his new role as an opportunity to help grow the campus and the communities it serves. It was a chance, he said, to pull together differing viewpoints and organizations, as he has done throughout his career, to rally them around the success of every student who attends MCC.

Before joining MCC, Banks served as vice president for academic and student affairs and vice president for academic affairs at St. Charles Community College (Missouri). During his tenure, he integrated the academic affairs and student services areas into a unified academic and student affairs area. He also chaired the campus security task force and led the campus security leadership team.

Banks served as dean/division chair of the arts and humanities division at St. Charles Community College (SCC) from 1994-2003.

Previous to his time at SCC, he served as an assistant professor of speech and theatre and director of performing arts at Urbana University (Ohio), and as theatre department chair and assistant professor of theatre and design/ technical direction at Xavier University (Ohio). He has taught full-time and part-time in speech and theatre at Xavier University, Urbana University, Lindenwood University (Missouri), and SCC.

Banks has a Ph.D. in American studies from St. Louis University, a Master of Fine Arts degree in design and technical theatre from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and a bachelor’s degree in theatre from St. Louis University.

Kirk Nooks, president, MCC-LongviewKirk Nooks

Kirk Nooks had a relationship with the Kansas City area long before occupying the president’s office at MCC-Longview. This relationship unfolded years ago when he attended a conference and fell in love with the area and its barbecue.

Now he’s become acquainted with the many attributes of Lee’s Summit and the Kansas City area. He considers the community a mecca of educational opportunity, beginning with the award-winning Lee’s Summit public school district and the quality higher education offered by MCC.

Nooks, who took the lead at MCC-Longview in July, 2013, began his tenure by establishing a presidential task force to explore the campus’s future. The approach involves establishing a model based on several ‘P’ initiatives, including philosophy, people, places, policies, programs, practices and progress.

With 15 years of experience in education, business and engineering, Nooks is building on the foundations laid by Longview’s last president, Fred Grogan, who retired after 15 years.

Nooks is making the most of his educational leadership background, which includes his last position at Georgia Highlands College, where he served as both campus dean and executive liaison for diversity initiatives. Under his leadership, the campus saw tremendous growth, including a 35 percent increase in enrollment and expanded academic and student services. Additionally, academic and office space more than doubled.

Nooks holds a doctorate in higher education administration from The George Washington University, an MBA in marketing and a bachelor of science in industrial management from Mercer University. He is a graduate of the Thomas Lakin Institute for Mentored Leadership and a member of the inaugural cohort of the American Council on Education’s Spectrum Leadership Institute.

Locally, Nooks is involved with the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce and the Missouri Community College Association. Nooks has also been involved with the Association for the Study of Higher Education, The Chair Academy, National Academic Advising Association, the National Association of College & University Business Officers, the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators, the National Council on Black American Affairs and the National Council on Student Development, the American Association of Community Colleges and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Utpal Goswami, president, MCC-Maple WoodsUtpal Goswami

Before joining MCC-Maple Woods in July, Dr. Utpal K. Goswami logged more than 30 years of higher education experience as both a member of the faculty and administration at colleges in Texas, California, Arizona and Missouri.

Most recently, he served as vice president of instruction at College of the Redwoods in Eureka, Calif. He also served as interim president and superintendent of the college in 2011-12, during which time he led the district in responding to accreditation challenges, development of a new mission/vision statement, development of the 2012-17 strategic plan and the 2012-17 education master plan and implementation of major capital projects.

Prior to his leadership at College of the Redwoods, Goswami served as vice president and provost at Yavapai College in Prescott, Ariz. Before that, he spent several years as dean of business administration and instructional operations at St. Louis Community College – Meramec. Goswami has been involved in many aspects of community college leadership, including program development, fostering shared governance, integrating technology into both the teaching and the learning environment, engaging community leaders and philanthropists and meeting high accreditation standards.

He holds a master’s degree in development economics from Boston University and both a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in economics from Southern Methodist University. His board service includes the United Way, the Chamber of Commerce, the American Red Cross and Decade of Difference.

As MCC embarks on a targeted student success initiative, Goswami sees opportunities to build a campus culture of proactivity, solving issues facing student learning, completion and workforce preparation. He also plans to connect to the Northland community and secure philanthropic support for MCC-Maple Woods’ mission of preparing students.


Last Modified: 5/26/15