EUGENE, Ore. — At the June 16 meeting of the Lane Community College Board of Education, President Margaret Hamilton received high marks in her latest annual review from board members. Dr. Hamilton was praised by LCC Board Chair Lisa Fragala for positive enthusiasm, resilience, and strong work ethic. Fragala said, “There is a strong consensus amongst the Board of Education that she has done excellent work for the college and that we benefit from her inspired leadership.”
At the same meeting, Hamilton took the opportunity to announce retirement plans: “With mixed emotions, I am informing you of my retirement effective June 30, 2022. By the end of my fifth year, I will have accomplished my five-year plan and will be ready to hand the keys over to someone with fresh ideas and a new lens,” she said.
Fragala said the board has given Dr. Hamilton high marks during her four years of leadership at LCC and only reluctantly accepts her decision to retire. “Throughout this challenging year, Dr. Hamilton never lost sight of the important efforts the college needed to tackle to maintain its long-term success. Her attention to detail and ability to tackle multiple, large and complex projects simultaneously, has been remarkable.”
Fragala praised Dr. Hamilton’s leadership during a worldwide pandemic: “Community colleges faced the challenge of transitioning to distance learning and the important priority of maintaining safe working and learning conditions for all. Dr. Hamilton’s insightful and responsive thinking kept teaching and learning happening, got technology into the hands of students, and prioritized the health and safety of the campus community. Her leadership in the pandemic also involved collaboration with local governments that saw LCC effectively providing thousands of immunizations to the community as a vaccination site.“
Fragala also praised Hamilton’s work on the accreditation process, as well as implementation of a strategic planning process that involves input from employees, students, and the community, noting Hamilton personally completed dozens of interviews with stakeholders. Fragala also said Board members are pleased Hamilton has begun executing bond-funded capital projects after last year’s successful bond campaign.
In turn, Dr. Hamilton praised the board: “Since my arrival, this board and the community have demonstrated their commitment to the success of the college, and I’m grateful for their ongoing support of our mission.” Dr. Hamilton arrived in 2017, following a steady decline in enrollment as a result of the Great Recession. Upon arrival, Hamilton set her goals to move the college to a growth mindset, beginning with seeking out partners in the community.
She said Bushnell University was the first to step up and sign an agreement to put students first by creating pathways to reduce barriers for transfer students. OSU followed with a similar agreement and this summer, Hamilton is expected to sign a “DuckLane” agreement with the University of Oregon to ensure Lane graduates have a direct path to UO.
Hamilton said her top priorities also included the need to conduct a successful bond campaign to address security and safety needs, an aging infrastructure, outdated technology, and a $90 million dollar deferred maintenance list. Passed by District voters in 2020, the bond will retrofit buildings to withstand natural disasters, provide for safety locks and security cameras, replace non-working HVAC systems and failing roofs, create a technology-rich teaching and learning environment, and enhance career and technical programs to address local and statewide workforce needs.
Hamilton recalls, “People told me not to get my hopes up about passing a bond during a pandemic. We didn’t listen, and the rest is history. The people of Lane County sent a loud message that they value their community college, and they expect us to help train the workforce in order to put people back to work.”
President Hamilton was quick to thank her board, the students, and the college, and acknowledged there is much to do in her final year as they update the Strategic Plan, continue construction of bond projects, and engage the college community in an accreditation site visit.
Hamilton said she wanted to give the Board of Education a full year to conduct a nation-wide search and hiring process. She said she and her husband plan to remain in Eugene and she hopes to continue to be involved with LCC after retirement.
Fragala said the board will begin developing plans this summer for a national search.
For more information about Lane Community College:
- Biography of President Hamilton
Lane is an AA/EEO/Veterans/Disabilities Employer
Lane Community College educates over 25,000 students annually at six locations across Lane County and online. Students and alumni from all 50 states and 79 countries create more than an $850 million dollar impact on the local economy, helping to support more than 13,000 local jobs. Lane provides affordable, quality, professional technical and college transfer programs; business development and employee training; academic, language and life skills development; and lifelong personal development and enrichment courses.