CVTC District Board Names Next President

At a special meeting of the Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) District Board today, trustees acted to approve the contract for Dr. Sunem Beaton-Garcia, the College's next president. A public college administrator from Florida, Dr. Beaton-Garcia will serve as the eleventh president of CVTC, becoming the first woman and first Latina to lead the College. She succeeds Bruce Barker, who has served as president since 2008 and will retire July 1, 2021.

"We welcome Dr. Beaton-Garcia's leadership as we enter the next chapter of CVTC's growth and development," said CVTC board chair, Paul Bauer. "She is a dynamic, engaging, and thoughtful leader with a proven track record that will greatly benefit the College through this leadership transition and into the future."  Bauer noted his appreciation to the entire CVTC community for participation at the forums and survey feedback. "Everyone's collaborative work enriched the search process and informed selection of the candidate best fit for the College."

Dr. Sunem Beaton-Garcia

Dr. Beaton-Garcia has more than 12 years of instructional and administrative experience in higher education. Her career includes notable accomplishments for a culture of collaboration and teaching excellence, transformational academic programs and innovation in student support, community engagement, and resource generation and stewardship. Beaton-Garcia says she looks forward to serving alongside the talented faculty and staff to continue to strengthen the increasingly diverse community through an inclusive, equitable and innovative educational environment. She plans to collaborate extensively with local and regional leaders and welcomes the opportunity to meet with county board chairs and other community stakeholders and partners.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to build upon CVTC's great work in service to our students and the community as their next president," said Beaton-Garcia. "It was clear to me during the search process that CVTC exemplifies the kind of commitment to student success and personal growth that inspired me to be an educator. I thank the District Board for its trust in me and will work tirelessly to fulfill our mission."

Sunem Beaton-Garcia, Ed.D., currently serves as North Campus President and Vice Provost for Academic Services and Interim South Campus President and Vice Provost for Academic Resources at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, FL. She previously served as Interim Central Campus President and Vice Provost for Teaching Excellence and Learning. Dr. Beaton-Garcia earned a Doctor of Education in Instructional Technology and Distance Education from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL; a Master of Arts in Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL; and a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Marketing from the University of Phoenix in Tempe, AZ.

Beaton-Garcia's dedication to providing opportunities for all who seek to fulfill their economic mobility dream through a postsecondary degree or credential is rooted in her own experiences. As a refugee from Cuba, she understands the challenges firsthand of learning a new language, navigating a new culture, and charting an uncertain educational journey. "I look forward to hearing the students' stories. I know you have the will of giants and the determination of champions to become productive, civically engaged, and able to share your gifts with the world. We will help get you there."

Dr. Beaton-Garcia will begin her term as president on July 1. "My husband Carlos and I, along with our son Gabriel, are excited to join the community this summer," added Beaton-Garcia.

– Mr. Paul M. Bauer
Chair, District Board


Presidential Profile

The District Board of Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) invites nominations and applications for the position of President.  Chippewa Valley Technical College is part of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and serves an 11-county district. The College is one of 16 WTCS colleges located throughout the state. CVTC operates under a shared governance model between the Wisconsin Technical College System Board and the appointed, local nine-member District Board.

Chippewa Valley Technical College delivers innovative and applied education which improves the lives of students, supports the workforce needs of the region, and strengthens the larger community. CVTC offers 118 programs, 38 certificates, and 13 apprenticeships in 11 different career fields. In fiscal year 2020, the College served 19,237 students.

With eight locations in Eau Claire and four regional campuses throughout Western Wisconsin, students throughout the 11-county district have access to CVTC’s educational offerings. Regional campuses are in Chippewa Falls, Menomonie, Neillsville, and River Falls. Each campus offers a variety of programs and services through face-to-face, online, and several e-learning options.

The CVTC main campus, including the President’s administrative office, is located in Eau Claire. Eau Claire is located at the meeting point of two scenic rivers and has reinvented itself into a cultural mecca. As the fastest growing small city in Wisconsin and the subject of glowing national media profiles praising its quality of life and low cost of living, Eau Claire's authentic can-do spirit has made it a destination for young professionals and families. The CVTC district extends from the eastern campus in Neillsville to our most western campus in River Falls, which is located close to the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. Community collaboration is highly regarded throughout the CVTC district among educators, public and private sectors, and the community at large.

In April 2020, the College received strong community support and successfully passed a $48.8 million referendum. The proposed projects were based upon program needs to fulfill workforce demands as identified by advisory committees and verified by a district-wide survey. The referendum projects include construction of a new Transportation Education Center, addition and remodeling of the Emergency Service Education Center, the addition of an automated fabrication lab to the Manufacturing Education Center, property purchase in River Falls, and additional campus projects to address accessibility, safety, and security needs.

Although CVTC is locally focused, the College has received accolades on the national level. Through a $2.5 million U.S. Department of Education grant, CVTC is the lead institution in development of the first-ever Open Educational Resources (OER) nursing textbooks, with the first of five already published and in use. Additionally, CVTC agriculture programs were honored by the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) with Outstanding Postsecondary Agricultural Program awards in both 2019 and 2020. CVTC also has a strong track record for receiving state and national grants to enhance program growth, technology advancements and student support.

CVTC is seeking a visionary and mission-driven leader who can ensure equity and growth, and continuously meet the region’s workforce needs.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Advance technical education through innovation, collaboration, accountability, and by adapting to evolving industries and technology advancements.
  • Balance multiple priorities that include fiscal responsibility, changing demographics, multiple campuses, development of relevant programming to meet workforce needs, employee retention, equitable compensation, student success, and encouragement of innovation in programming and technology.
  • Focus on increasing enrollment, student recruitment, retention, and graduation rates.
  • Work in collaboration with business, industry, and communities to offer flexible opportunities to update workforce skills for new, unemployed, and incumbent workers as needed by regional employers and communities.
  • Continue to adapt student-focused programming and instructional delivery modes to meet the schedules and demands of potential students and employers in an evolving workforce.
  • Provide leadership that transitions CVTC from the pandemic to post-pandemic, successfully navigating the region’s economic growth and development.
  • Demonstrate and foster a culture of diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives for all faculty, staff, students, and the community.
  • Recognize disparate income levels of district residents and address inequities through educational programs, degrees, and support services.
  • Maintain and expand the regional economy through educational, civic, legislative, business, and private partnerships to advance the College and improve its connections leading to continuous improvement and student success.
  • Complete full implementation of the referendum projects as well as developing a new facilities master plan.
  • Recognize the need to provide programming to all geographic regions of the district, including less densely populated areas, increasingly diverse populations, rural communities, and K-12 partners.

Ideal Characteristics:

  • A forward-thinking leader with a passion for the importance of the technical college mission and through collaboration, develops effective policies and practices to benefit the College and the region.
  • A visible ambassador and effective communicator who listens, consults, communicates, builds relationships, promotes the College, and develops strong connections with workforce partners and the region to develop educational offerings that best serve the changing needs of the region’s employers.
  • Leads with empathy, compassion, integrity, respect, and commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the College and community.
  • A unifying leader with crisis management experience who will support the safety and security of the College.
  • A leader with financial acumen that will successfully manage large budgets and generate new sources of funding and revenue.
  • Attracts and retains high-caliber faculty and staff through professional development and salary assessment and furthers the College’s commitment to transparency and collaboration.
  • A demonstrated team-builder who is approachable, receptive to feedback, builds consensus, and breaks down silos. • Successful experience in balancing the expansion of technology with hands-on instruction to improve student success and meet workforce needs.
  • Understands the dynamics of working with a governing board which is empowered to levy property taxes for operations and capital expenses and develop annual budgets and policies.
  • A strong advocate who has experience engaging with government entities and associations at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Experience cultivating a philanthropic culture, working with college foundations, civic organizations, alumni, and the broader community.
  • A collaborative leader who will maintain, build, and expand relationships with K-12 institutions, university partners, and other higher education institutions.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with an earned doctorate strongly preferred.
  • Significant executive-level experience within education, preferably at a community or technical college in positions of increasing responsibility.
  • Experience with or working in industry/the private sector is desirable.

College Background

Chippewa Valley Technical College is part of the Wisconsin Technical College System and serves an 11-county area. Campuses are located throughout the district including multiple locations in Eau Claire and in the Chippewa Falls, Menomonie, Neillsville, and River Falls communities. The College is one of 16 WTCS colleges located throughout the state. CVTC has an appointed district board consisting of nine members who serve three-year, staggered terms.

The College offers over 115 programs, 38 certificates, and 13 apprenticeships, providing the area with the needed hands-on learning and the training and skills you need to support local business and industry.

CVTC delivers innovative, applied, and flexible education that supports a diverse community of learners, improves the lives of students, and adds value to our communities. CVTC is a dynamic partner, empowering students, employers, and communities to learn and succeed.

In keeping with our mission and vision, CVTC promotes the development of four key core abilities. These core abilities address the broad-based skills that will prepare a student to become a productive member of the workforce, a civic-minded citizen of the community, and a life-long learner ready to grow with her/his chosen profession. These core abilities are woven throughout the student's avenue of study not becoming the sole responsibility of any one course but rather integrated into all curriculum as appropriate, thus building a strong base for academic and personal success.

Working closely with business and industry partners, CVTC develops programs and curriculum aimed at ensuring our grads hit the job running with the skills and qualities employers need.


District Information

CVTC District Map

Eau Claire, Wisconsin, located at the confluence of the crystal clear Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers, was recently ranked as one of the most liveable small cities in the United States and offers a wide range of experiences and opportunities. From music, arts, and entertainment to the outdoor splendor and abundant natural beauty it is the best-kept secret in the midwest.

Eau Claire Chamber
Visit Eau Claire
Chippewa Falls Chamber
Menomonie Chamber
River Falls Chamber



February 5, 2021

ACCT Search Consultant facilitates a series of virtual open Public Forums (Administrators, Staff, Faculty, Students, Community members invited to attend) to solicit feedback to inform the development of the draft Presidential Profile. Electronic survey distributed to solicit feedback to assist with the development of the Presidential Profile. Board to Appoint Presidential Search Committee: Recommend 12 – 13 members.

February 11, 2021

Presidential Search Committee Meeting #1: Virtual training and Orientation; Committee receives Draft Presidential Profile and reviews and edits the draft Presidential Profile (3 – 4 hour meeting).

February 12, 2021

Special or Regular Board meeting to discuss, edit and finalize the Presidential Profile.

February 15, 2021

Presidential Profile is posted on CVTC and ACCT websites. ACCT and Search Consultant conduct targeted local, state-wide and national one-to-one recruitment of highly competitive and diverse candidates. Advertisements placed.

March 29, 2021

Target Date for Receipt of Applications. Position open until filled.

March 30 - April 6, 2021

Presidential Search Committee members review and rate the top 12 – 15 candidates independently through ACCT’s secure web portal. (Spring Break March 22 - 26)

April 7, 2021

Presidential Search Committee Meeting #2: Presidential Search Committee meets to discuss and select 7 – 8 confidential semifinalists. (5 – 6 hour meeting); Virtual or in-person.

April 14 & 15, 2021

Search Committee Meeting #3: Presidential Search Committee meets for confidential interviews of semifinalists. (Two-day Interview process via video or in-person). Search Committee deliberates and selects 3 - 5 finalists and forwards recommendations to Board of Trustees.

Week of April 26, 2021

Finalists visit the College for tours, participate in public forums, meet with Direct Reports, etc. Finalists will interview with the full Board of Trustees. During deliberations, ACCT provides oral in-depth reference reports on final candidates.

Week of May 10, 2021

Board visits #1 candidate’s institution (optional, but highly recommended). ACCT facilitates final negotiations. New President of Chippewa Valley Technical College is announced.

July 2, 2021

Start date for next President of Chippewa Valley Technical College.


How to Apply

Applications are no longer being accepted as the CVTC Presidential search is in the final stages.


Committee Members

The Presidential Search committee members are as follows:

  • Paul Bauer, District Board Chair and Presidential Committee Chair
  • Ramona Mathews, District Board Vice Chair
  • Mike Noreen, District Board Secretary
  • Russell Ratsch, District Board Treasurer
  • Travis Christman, Alumni Board Representative
  • Dave Leisses, Foundation Board Representative
  • Roger Achiepo, CVTC Student Representative
  • Dawn Johnson, CVTC Faculty Representative
  • Jerry Moldenhauer, CVTC Non-Faculty Representative
  • Rod Bagley, CVTC Management Representative
  • Gretchen Hudacek, Community Business Partner Representative
  • Mary Bygd, Community Business Partner Representative
  • Ashley DeMuth, Chamber Representative
  • Steve Jahn, EDC Representative

Contact Information

For additional information, nominations or confidential inquiries please contact:

Dr. Cecilia Cervantes, ACCT Search Consultant,, (651) 795-1992 (mobile)

Julie Golder, J.D., Vice President of Search Services, ACCT,, (202) 384-5816 (mobile), 202-775-4466 (office)