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NWACC president announces retirement

Dr. Evelyn E. Jorgenson has been president for nine years and has devoted 48 years to education. Her contract will end on June 30, 2022.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) President Dr. Evelyn E. Jorgenson has announced her plans to retire at the end of her contract.

Jorgenson has been president for nine years and has devoted 48 years to education. Her contract will end on June 30, 2022. 

“Although I continue to have great passion and energy for the students of NorthWest Arkansas Community College and the enormously faithful and talented faculty and staff, including cabinet members, I’ve decided that it is time for me to recognize that life is short and it is time for others to carry the mission of the college forward,” Jorgenson said.

Under Jorgenson’s leadership, NWACC is now the largest community college in Arkansas. She oversaw the creation of NWACC’s culinary school, Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food, the Integrated Design Lab, a state-of-the-art facility that combines design, art, and construction, and the new NWACC Washington County facility in Springdale.

According to the college, investments were also made under her leadership in completing the Center for Health Professions building, upgrading IT infrastructure, and acquiring property for a new plant operations building.

Jorgenson managed the college's finances responsibly operating with a balanced budget and no deficit spending. She oversaw millions of dollars in cost-savings with changes to NWACC’s health insurance plans and right-sizing the administration, including eliminating the role of Provost, with substantial salary and benefit savings every year. 

The college says she relocated Adult Education programs to the main NWACC campus to eliminate the unnecessary cost of leasing and demonstrated a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all students. 

She also accomplished locating the first Arkansas Procurement Assistance Center (APAC) outside of LittleRock onto the NWACC Bentonville campus, offering a convenient location to assist small businesses in Northwest Arkansas.

According to the college, "NWACC’s mission to provide high-quality academic programs has excelled under Dr. Jorgenson’s direction. NWACC completed its 10-year reaccreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, its nursing program continues to rank number one among all Arkansas community colleges, the college developed affordable study abroad opportunities for students and expanded its career and technical training programs to better serve community growth and economic development. Lastly, Dr. Jorgenson developed a culture of respect and transparency at the college, adding a faculty member to the President’s Cabinet and opening communication with her 'Q & A with Dr. J.' sessions and her 'Notes from the President' updates."

Chairman of the NWACC Board of Trustees Ron Branscum thanked Jorgenson for her service. 

“The NWA community has been blessed to have the leadership of Dr. Jorgenson for the last nine years. Dr. J has exemplified true leadership and she will leave behind big shoes to be filled for the presidency at NWACC,” Branscum said.