Rear Admiral Michael White Announced Next President of Northeastern Junior College

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November 29, 2021 (Denver) — Today, the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) Chancellor Joe Garcia announced the selection of Rear Admiral (retired) Michael White as the next president of Northeastern Junior College (NJC).

RADM White, whose academic career began in naval education and training as a commander and progressed to a senior leadership role at the College of Maritime Operational Warfare, will serve as NJC’s eighth president. He will begin his term on January 31, 2022. He will succeed President Jay Lee who is retiring December 31.

RADM White describes the opportunity to become president, where several of his family members have graduated and in a community where many friends and family members reside, “a dream realized,” that will allow him to pursue his passion for education and training.

I look forward to engaging the entire community around the many strengths upon which we can build.
- Michael White
“I am returning to a place that is deeply familiar to me and where I will feel instantly rooted,” said RADM White. “I look forward to engaging the entire community around the many strengths upon which we can build, as well as vital new aspirations for the future.”

Chancellor Garcia touted RADM White’s breadth of experience and vision, making him uniquely qualified to lead NJC.

“We are excited to welcome RADM White to our system,” said Garcia. “His impressive credentials and post-secondary experience define him as a strong leader with deep understanding of issues facing students from various backgrounds, commitment to delivering transformative educational experiences and outcomes that appeal to broad audiences, and strategic acumen to lead NJC boldly to the next level.”

After conducting a nationwide search for candidates with both high-level academic qualifications and strong leadership experience, RADM White was selected from a highly competitive group of more than 45 applicants with diverse backgrounds.

The selection process was led by a nine-member advisory search committee, who worked diligently to screen, interview, and conduct community forums.

“I extend my appreciation to the committee for leading a comprehensive search and to NJC’s campus and community members for their engagement throughout the search process,” said Garcia. “The result is someone the entire community can be proud of for his interdisciplinary experience and leadership and inclusive vision for student, institutional, and regional success.”

RADM White is someone the entire community can be proud of for his interdisciplinary experience and leadership and inclusive vision for student, institutional, and regional success.
- Joe Garcia, CCCS Chancellor
Currently, RADM White serves as the Dean of the College of Maritime Operational Warfare at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, where he leads a team of over 70 faculty and administrators in delivering high-impact postsecondary education to over 600 U.S. and partner nation students. Among his many accomplishments at the Naval War College, RADM White spearheaded the expansion of the Humanitarian Response Program, which partners with universities including Brown, Harvard, and MIT to share ideas and curriculum, as well as integration with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. His efforts to re-focus curriculum that delivered current and relevant outcomes for students resulted in significant increases in annual enrollments.

RADM White also finds time in his busy schedule to teach a baccalaureate level course as an adjunct instructor to University of Charleston students online.

“I have deep passion for learning, as well as serving one’s community, and I look forward to leveraging my experience with technical training and education management to support Northeastern as we look to embrace the challenges ahead and decide where we want to go and how best to get there,” said RADM White. “I feel inspired about NJC’s future and I am eager to work alongside the College’s dedicated campus and community members to make meaningful and lasting impact.”

Prior to this role at the Naval War College, RADM White served on active duty in the Navy for 34 years. His final position was Commander of the Naval Education and Training Command, where he led transformational change in sailors’ accession and technical training. Through a program he termed Ready, Relevant Learning, he oversaw a variety of training methodologies needed to successfully deliver knowledge, skills, and abilities to students in programs ranging from diesel mechanics, radar and electronic technicians, to language and culinary specialists.

RADM White and his wife, Marietta, look forward to returning home to the Sterling, Colorado community and NJC family.


About Northeastern Junior College
Northeastern Junior College takes pride in offering a wide array of college services, including residence life and student housing opportunities, athletics, and performing arts programming to create an intimate college experience. With practical, hands-on instruction lead by predominately full time faculty who also serve as advisors to provide a caring, personal and supportive learning environment. Northeastern offers classes at their main campus in Sterling, Colorado and an additional campus in Yuma, Colorado to service students in the five counties of Northeast Colorado. Northeastern has over 60 certificate and degree options for students to explore, as well as guaranteed transfer programs to all four-year public college institutions.

About Colorado Community College System
The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, delivering more than 1,000 programs to over 125,000 students annually through 13 colleges and 38 locations across Colorado. Our open access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities. The System Office provides leadership, advocacy and support to the colleges under the direction of the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE). Join us in changing the way Colorado goes to college. Learn more at

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