Former president returns to office

By JoJo Brinkhoff
Entertainment Editor

During the 48th Annual Spring Commencement, former Crowder College President Dr. Alan Marble announced his retirement. As the spring semester ended with the farewell of Dr. Marble, the fall semester welcomes Dr. Kent Farnsworth as its new president.

According to Martha Nimmo, Administrative Assistant to the President, Dr. Farnsworth was the ideal choice because he had served as president from 1985-2004. Another reason was his ability to work with the people at Crowder, treating everyone “with fairness and respect.”

“He is able to work collaboratively with groups of every sort including administrators from universities and colleges, legislators, faculty, staff, students and community members,” said Nimmo.

When the board heard that Dr. Farnsworth had moved back to Neosho, they asked him to be Crowder’s interim president until they could find a replacement. He was officially made Crowder College President on July 1, 2013.

“The college was so good to me when I was here before,” said Dr. Farnsworth. “When they [the board] asked if I would come back for a while, I would have been pretty ungrateful to say no.”

Despite being retired for nine years, Dr. Farnsworth spent those years working in different positions to train college students in St. Louis to become leaders. When he left Crowder, he worked at the University of Missouri-St. Louis to assist in the Mary Ann Lee Endowed Professor for Community College Leadership and directed the Center for International Community College Education and Leadership (CICCEL); programs to train college students in leadership positions in community colleges. He worked there for six years before retiring from his positions, taking a part time job in the Alumni Foundation.

“He is a very visionary person who understands what is needed to meet the needs of college students in this day and age…and in the future,” said Dr. Glenn Coltharp, Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Because of the high standards he sets for himself, he drives others to reach to higher standards, too.”

Besides his career, Dr. Farnsworth spends his spare time traveling with his wife to different states when visiting their kids and grandkids, writing books and working in his garden.

“When I retired,” said Dr. Farnsworth. “I didn’t have any trouble at all finding plenty to do.”

Although Dr. Farnsworth believes that Crowder is heading in the right direction, he feels that there are areas that could use improvement for the next president. One area in particular that Crowder is currently working on is having the latest data on students.

According to Dr. Farnsworth, current data is important for the college to have because it allows the board to see if the programs are keeping students informed with the latest technology, how fluent the transferring process is for students and what type of success each student has after graduating from Crowder.

“It really helps us to make much better decisions if we have good data,” said Dr. Farnsworth.

Along with fresh data, Dr. Farnsworth wants to expose the college to newer instructional strategies from other community colleges that would improve Crowder in the future.

After retiring from his presidency, Dr. Farnsworth plans on returning to his hobbies such as traveling and gardening, but most of all his books. While working in St. Louis, he published a couple of academia books. According to him, however, it wasn’t quite as satisfying as publishing fiction. Already he has published through Amazon Kindle some mystery novels and international intrigue novels, but he looks forward to writing and publishing as long as he can.

“It has its drawback … publicity is more difficult,” said Dr. Farnsworth. “But if I can get that figured out, that’s what I’ll be doing with the rest of my time.”