Olympia, WA -- The Evergreen State College Board of Trustees announced today they have selected three final candidates in the search for Evergreen’s next president, following a national search.
“We have three capable and talented individuals who would bring great experience, energy and perspective to this vital role,” said Board of Trustees Chair Karen Fraser, a retired Washington state senator and former Evergreen adjunct faculty.
“This has been a comprehensive process, with strong participation from the Evergreen community, as well as search and advisory committees. We’re excited to enter the final selection phase and choose a leader to take Evergreen forward.”
The college’s current president, George Bridges, informed the board in February 2020 of his intent to retire as president at the end of his contract in June 2021.
The three candidates will participate in virtual sessions with the Evergreen community in coming weeks. The Evergreen board anticipates selecting Evergreen’s next president in early May.
Michael Dumont is a recently retired U.S. Navy vice admiral and lawyer with experience as a prosecutor and national security leader. He holds a B.A. from the University of Southern Maine, a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School and master’s degrees in national security studies from the U.S. Army War College and the National War College.
Catherine Kodat, provost and dean of faculty at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, is a former journalist turned academic scholar who has also served as faculty, department chair, and dean at several liberal arts colleges throughout the U.S. She earned a B.A. in English at the University of Baltimore, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Boston University.
Lee Lambert is chancellor of Tucson’s large Pima Community College system, a former president of Shoreline Community College, and a U.S. Army veteran. A former special assistant to the president for civil rights and legal affairs at Evergreen, he holds a B.A. from Evergreen and a J.D. from Seattle University.
“Our goal is to find a dynamic, innovative, and collaborative leader who can guide Evergreen through its next chapter,” said Fraser. “There’s a special spark and power to an Evergreen education. As our future unfolds, we want to provide this exceptionally valuable educational opportunity to many more students.”
Evergreen, one of Washington state’s six baccalaureate-granting public colleges, offers a distinctive interdisciplinary, collaborative education which prepares students for success in the sciences, arts, public service and business. Graduates include U.S. Congressman Denny Heck, performer Macklemore, musician and actor Carrie Brownstein, “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, entrepreneur Lynda Weinman of Lynda.com, and many more who have earned high acclaim for their professional achievements.
The college student body includes a high percentage of returning adult, first-generation, and Native students. The national publication Inside Higher Ed states that Evergreen’s commitment and support for veteran students is one of the highest in the nation.
Evergreen scores highly in national rankings, making the Fiske Guide’s list of top twenty colleges in the nation scored as a “Best Buy” in 2019 for their high-quality academic offerings and affordable cost.
Evergreen was recognized by the national Washington Monthly as the best master’s university in the U.S. in 2019. The college offers three master’s degree programs: public administration, including tribal administration; environmental studies; and teaching.
Evergreen alumni generate $535 million in annual earnings for the state, while the college brings more than 1,600 jobs, $11.6 million in tax revenue and about $200 million in output to the region, according to a 2018 study by the Thurston Economic Development Council (PDF). Evergreen returns $4.68 to the local economy for every dollar of state investment.