The Grandview, Wash. native expresses empathy for people who find it hard to find their way to and through college. “I failed at a few colleges,” Jim says, with a slight smile and shrug of his shoulders. “The Army gave me focus.”
After the Army, he attended Yakima Valley Community College and ultimately earned his Ph.D. from Gonzaga University. The beginning of his 26-year career in higher education was largely dedicated to four-year public and private universities, until – he describes it – he made the move to community college education which is more aligned to his own philosophy. He served at Columbia Basin Community College and Shoreline Community College before coming to Spokane.
Jim has always appreciated the “grass root programs” that literally take students from a low level of academic achievement and work with them to get them through support service programs and onto an academic track.