Special to the Opelika Observer

At the Alabama Community College System board of trustees meeting Wednesday, Chancellor Jimmy H. Baker announced the selection of Todd Shackett as president of Southern Union State Community College.

Shackett’s appointment was unanimously approved by the board of trustees.

The selection was made after a 10-month strategic planning process designed to culminate with the selection of a permanent president at the college. The strategic planning effort included multiple avenues for community input including a public survey and town halls held on every Southern Union campus. Baker also formed a 10-member community council to give input on the attributes and characteristics desired for the president of Southern Union, which will serve as an advisory resource for the new president moving forward.

Shackett has more than 30 years of leadership and management experience and for the past 8 years has worked for Baxter International in Opelika, most recently as the Director of Operational Excellence. He is a recognized leader in the local community serving as an Industrial Advisory Board Member at Southern Union, as an Executive Board Member of the Opelika Chamber of Commerce, and as Chair of the Auburn University Graduate School Advisory Board.

“Southern Union is a unique place and has been a pillar of the communities it serves for many years. Today’s selection of a permanent president marks a significant step in the history of the college,” Baker said. “Throughout his career, Todd has demonstrated his commitment to training the future workforce through partnerships with community colleges and the development of apprenticeship programs. Todd is the right person to lead Southern Union into the future, and I am confident that once the Bison community gets to know him, they will have as much confidence as I do in his commitment to their college.”

Prior to Shackett’s work at Baxter International, he spent several years with Becton Dickinson and Company, a medical technology manufacturing company, in Durham, North Carolina. Shackett has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University and both a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science in Operations Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Shackett also has a Certificate in Executive Management from Stanford University.

“For the past three decades my diverse experience working in business and industry has convinced me of the importance that community colleges play in providing a path to a better future,” Shackett said. “As a local businessman, I know first-hand the critical role Southern Union plays in the community and the important impact the quality education and training the college provides has on the local economy. I have been awarded significant titles in the past, but I’m most excited to become President of Southern Union State Community College. In the coming weeks, I look forward to meeting with students, faculty, staff and administrators to begin our important work together.”

Shackett’s tenure at Southern Union will begin in early August. Meet and greet events will be held at every campus to introduce President Shackett to the Bison community. Dates for these events will be announced in the near future.

For more information, visit www.suscc.edu.