ESCANABA AND IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WJMN) – Dr. Nerita Hughes has been selected to become the next president of Bay College.

Bay College announced the decision Tuesday after the college’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve Hughes’ selection. Hughes will become the sixth president in school history since its founding in 1962.

Hughes will assume office on July 10, 2023, replacing Dr. Laura Coleman, who is set to retire on June 30.

“I am extremely excited to join and lead a student-centric institution that has a continued commitment to equity and belonging,” said Hughes. “Bay College will be the “community’s college” and having the opportunity to lead within a rural community offers what I like to call [radical imagination] for our future.”

Previosuly, Hughes has served as the Interim Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Workforce Innovation and the Dean for the School of Business, Careers, Education and Workforce Innovation at North Hennepin Community College in Minnesota. She has also spent time as a faculty instructor for the Human Resources Program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and Business and Careers Programs for Minnesota State.

Hughes holds a Bachelor of Science from National American University, a Masters of Business Administration, and a Doctorate of Education in Leadership, both from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Hughes was one of four presidential finalists to visit Bay’s Escanaba and Iron Mountain campuses. During the visit, the candidates were interviewed by the Board of Trustees and met with employees and community members.

“The Board of Trustees and I were very impressed by the quality of the candidates who applied for the Bay College presidency,” said Board Chair Joy Hopkins. “Dr. Nerita Hughes embodies the best qualities in education, workforce development and leadership, and I am delighted to have her lead Bay College in the future. She is an intelligent, dynamic leader, and I believe she is the leader who will continue and expand Bay’s legacy as the community’s college into the future.”

You can connect with Bay College here.