Members of the Dallas County Community College District Board of Trustees voted to approve the appointment of two new presidents for El Centro and North Lake Colleges today, based on recommendations submitted last week by Dr. Joe May, DCCCD’s chancellor.
The board approved Dr. Jose Adames to serve as president of El Centro College and Christa Slejko to serve as president of North Lake College. Adames is El Centro’s first Hispanic CEO; he will begin his administration some time between Aug. 18 and Sept. 15, 2014. Slejko’s tenure as president begins Wed., Aug. 6.
Following the vote, Trustee Charletta Compton, chair of the board, said, “Approving new presidents to lead our colleges is an important responsibility of the DCCCD board of trustees. Dr. Jose Adames and Ms. Christa Slejko will play a critical role — along with our five other college presidents — as our district moves forward to achieve the goals and objectives set by the trustees and overseen by Dr. Joe May, our chancellor. On behalf of the board, I want to congratulate both of our new presidents. They will help us meet the needs of our students and represent us well in our community.”
Adames currently is serving as vice president and dean of academic affairs at Dutchess Community College in New York; he succeeds Dr. Paul McCarthy, who will retired from El Centro on Aug. 31, 2014. Slejko has served as North Lake’s interim president following the retirement of Dr. Herlinda Glasscock.
“As we express our thanks to Dr. Paul McCarthy for his years of service, I also am delighted to welcome both Dr. Jose Adames and Ms. Christa Slejko as the new presidents of El Centro and North Lake colleges,” said May. “DCCCD conducted a national search for those positions, with the assistance of Greenwood/Asher Associates. We were fortunate to interview a total of seven outstanding candidates, and both of our new presidents bring excellent credentials and experience to their new positions.”
May added, “Jose Adames brings with him a commitment to serving students, working with employers and engaging with communities. He also brings experience working with diverse urban institutions, with a focus on preparing students to transfer to four-year universities or to enter the booming Dallas workforce. Christa Slejko has served the Dallas County Community College District in a number of capacities, such as strategic planning, business affairs, financial aid and related areas. She understands the unique needs of the region which is served by North Lake College, and she will continue to focus on helping students prepare for jobs, particularly in the Irving, Las Colinas and northwestern Dallas County areas.”
Adames is a veteran educator who has nearly 30 years of experience at both the community college and university levels in New Jersey and New York. In his current position at Dutchess Community College, he is responsible for participating in institutional policy formulation and strategic planning; overseeing curriculum matters; providing leadership for faculty; and facilitating teaching excellence and assessment of student learning.
Before he joined Dutchess Community College, Adames served as vice president of academic affairs and interim president of Bergen Community College; associate vice president/provost for academic affairs at Union County College; and dean of the Kean University College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as other positions in higher education.
Adames earned his doctorate and master’s degrees in education, both in applied linguistics, from Teachers College at Columbia University (N.Y.), as well as a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in politics from Seaton Hall University (N.J.). He has directed multi-million dollar grants from the U.S. Department of Education for STEM programs and has received a number of honors and awards, including the 2012 Idahlynn Karre International Exemplary Leadership Award and the 2009 International Exemplary Leader Award, both from The Chair Academy, as well as the 2009 William U. Harris Award of Excellence from the Middle States Regional Assembly.
Slejko, who began serving as North Lake’s interim president in 2011, has served the college for 17 years, including dean of financial affairs and vice president of business services. She has been responsible for the institution’s budget and finances, along with oversight of facilities, human resources, information technology, accounting and auxiliary services. Slejko began her career with DCCCD at Mountain View College, where she served as director of business operations. She also interned as the district’s vice chancellor for business affairs in 2006.
Slejko holds a master’s degree in human development and business from Amber University; a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Texas; and an associate’s degree in business from Kilgore College. She currently is completing her doctorate in higher education administration at Texas Tech University, where she plans to graduate in August 2015.
The new North Lake College president is a member of the board of directors for the Greater Irving/Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce; serves on the Tax Increment Finance Board for the city of Irving; and also is a board member of the Mobility Community Credit Union in Irving. Slejko is an advocate for professional development; is certified in Covey’s Four Disciplines; and serves as a Strengths Advocate. She also served as a sustainability officer for North Lake.