A change is coming at Southwestern Michigan College. After 18 years as president, Dr. David Mathews is retiring, and his last day will be December 31. Mathews joined SMC in 1997 as Dean of Arts and Sciences and Instructional Innovation, and became vice president of instruction the next year. He was appointed the school’s seventh president in 2001. The college says he’s developed and executed 18 consecutive balanced budgets, with investments in student success and facilities improvements all being done within those constraints. Under his guidance, the SMC Foundation grew from $1.3 million in assets to over $12 million, which Board of Trustees chairman Thomas Jerdon says has had a “huge impact” on wider scholarship availability for students.
SMC has achieved exceptional student success including student retention rates in the top 10 percent nationally, exceptional student success rates relative to peers, outstanding transfer student success rates, a consistent rise in student satisfaction, and a 66% increase in the number of associate degrees awarded each year.