Welcome to MVCC

Randall VanWagonerWelcome to Mohawk Valley Community College! 

Whether you chose MVCC as a starting point for your education or as a vehicle to further your career, we are unwaveringly dedicated to your success. MVCC has been changing lives with exceptional academic programs, activities, support, and athletics for more than 70 years, and we are perpetually looking forward. In a rapidly changing world, we recognize the importance of not only keeping up, but staying ahead of economic and societal trends, keeping our programs current and classes relevant to best prepare you for what the future holds.

About the President - Randall J. VanWagoner, Ph.D.

Randall J. “Randy” VanWagoner, Ph.D., serves as the fifth president of Mohawk Valley Community College – a position he has held since July 1, 2007. He currently is serving his second term as chair of the New York Community Colleges Association of Presidents, a position he has held since 2015.

Dr. VanWagoner came to MVCC after serving as the chief academic officer at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Neb., and the chief student affairs officer at Red Rocks Community College in Golden, Colo. He has been instrumental in the development of the national Strategic Horizons Network of community colleges and serves as the co-facilitator of the Network focused on learning about disruptive innovation and vibrant organizational cultures outside of higher education.

He received his graduate degrees from the Higher Education program at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor; earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.; and was a two-sport athlete at Mott Community College in Flint, Mich. He and his wife Jennifer live with their two daughters in New Hartford.


University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Mich.

Doctorate of Philosophy: Higher Education Administration

Master of Arts: Community College Administration

Oakland University – Rochester, Mich.

Bachelor of Arts

Major: Communications

Minor: Business Management

Mott Community College – Flint, Mich.

Major: Liberal Arts

Professional Experience

Mohawk Valley Community College, Utica, N.Y.

President (2007 to Present)

Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, Neb.

Vice President for Learning and Academic Affairs (1999 to 2007)

Adjunct Faculty (Information Technology) (Fall 2004)

Red Rocks Community College, Lakewood, Colo.

Dean of Educational Support (1997-1999)    

Registrar/ Director of Research & Planning (1996-1997)

Director of Institutional Research & Planning (1994-1996)

Adjunct Faculty (Information Technology) (Spring/Fall 1998, Spring 1999)

Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Research Analyst (1992 to 1994)

Post-Graduate Training & Development

Strategic Horizon Network (2001-2006; 2008-Present)

Bi-annual colloquium focused on strategic thinking

Harvard University - Cambridge, Mass. (Fall, 2016)

Seminar for Experienced Presidents


Community Vision Award (2015)

Recipient of annual award from NAACP - Utica Chapter for community leadership efforts

Shirley B. Gordon Award (2012)

Recipient of national award from Phi Theta Kappa for presidential support of local student honor society

Community Visionary Award (2011)

Recipient of annual award from Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency for community leadership efforts

Educator of the Year Award (2009)

Recipient of annual award from the Asian-American Council for international education partnership efforts

Metropolitan Community College Heart of Hearts Award (2003)

Recipient of peer-nominated annual college award as the employee who best demonstrates the “heart” of the college.

Norman C. Harris Award (2002)

Recipient of University of Michigan School of Education faculty nominated award for outstanding accomplishments in the community college field.

Disrupting Disruption

All-College Meeting Spring Plenary Keynote and half-day administrative leadership workshop, January 24, 2020, SUNY Adirondack Community College, Queensbury, NY

Future Focused; Change Ready; Culture Strong

All-College Meeting Spring Plenary Keynote and half-day strategic planning facilitation, January 14, 2020, Columbia-Greene Community College, Hudson, NY

Disrupting Disruption

Strategic Horizon Network, Fall Colloquium Closing Keynote.  With Dr. Marcia Ballinger. November 9, 2019, Las Vegas, NV

Shaping a Culture of Connection & Anticipation

College Student Personnel Association of New York State (CSPA), Pre-Conference Workshop and Fall Conference Plenary Keynote, October 20, 2019, Rochester, NY

Speed & Anticipation: Getting Governance Right

Association of Community College Trustees.  Concurrent Session.  October 18, 2019, San Francisco, CA

Courageous Change: Guided Pathways

All-Faculty Fall Professional Development, Plenary Keynote, October 8, 2019, Suffolk Community College, Brentwood, NY

Shaping Organizational Culture to Implement Guided Pathways

SUNY New York Student Success Center Guided Pathways Institute, Opening Plenary Keynote, October 3, 2019, Canandaigua, NY

Preparing for the Great Acceleration: Keys to Deep Culture Change (and the struggle for relevance)

New York Community College Trustees Association Fall Conference. With Trustee Tony Colon. September 21, 2019, Saratoga Springs, NY

Transformative Change in Community Colleges

Board of Trustees Retreat and All-College Plenary Keynote, August 5-6, 2019, Auburn, WA

Creating a Culture of Connection & Anticipation

All-day Administrative Retreat. July 23, 2019, Finger Lakes Community College, Canandaigua, NY

Assessment as a Lever for Equity and Cultural Change

Assessment Association of New York (AANY), Spring Plenary Keynote, April 12, 2019, Saratoga Springs, NY

Leading with Light in Uncertain Times

President’s Leadership Academy.  Half-day workshop. April 11, 2019, Montgomery College, Rockville, MD

Creating a Culture of Connection and Anticipation

Spring Semester All-College Plenary, Jan. 15, 2019, Rockland Community College, Suffern, N.Y.

Competing on Culture: Driving Change in Community Colleges

(Invited Workshop Facilitator). SUNY SAIL Winter Leadership Retreat, Jan. 10-11, 2019, Rensselaerville, N.Y.

Leveraging the Board/CEO Partnership to Foster a Vibrant Organizational Culture

(With T. Colon and C. Kahler). Association of Community College Trustees Annual Conference, October, 2018, New York City, N.Y.

Relevance: Shaping Organizational Culture to Implement Guided Pathways

SUNY Guided Pathways Institute #3, Sept. 26, 2018, Mohawk Valley Community College, Utica, N.Y.

Creating a Culture of Anticipation

Strategic Planning Retreat, Aug. 15, 2018, Jefferson Community College, N.Y.

Leading Change, Shaping Culture

SUNY Guided Pathways Institute #1, March 16, 2018, Monroe Community College, N.Y.

Leadership Insights for IR in Disruptive Times

(Conference Opening Keynote Address), Northeast Association of Institutional Research, Nov. 19, 2017, Jersey City, N.J.

Creating a Culture of Anticipation

(Invited All-College Plenary Keynote), Saskatchewan Polytechnic, August 2017, Regina, Saskatchewan, and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Shaping Organizational Culture through Professional Development

(With S. Cain, M. Eannace, D. Pollard), American Association of Community Colleges Annual Conference, April 2017, New Orleans, La.

Creating a Healthy Board for a Healthy College

(With T. Colon, R. Frank, D. Mathis, T. Murrell), Association of Community College Trustees Annual Conference, October 2016, New Orleans, La.

The Transformational Power of Community Colleges

(Invited All-College Plenary Keynote), Mott Community College, September 2016, Flint, Mich.

How Community Colleges Can Address Challenges of Poverty

(Invited workshop presenter), “We've Got Your Back” Student Success Statewide Conference, July 2016, Utica, N.Y.

Rethinking the Future: A mindset of renewal

(Invited luncheon keynote), Madison County Economic Development Summit, May 2016, Hamilton, N.Y.

Re-imagining Strategic Planning to Drive Resource Allocation

(Invited presenter with M. Buttenschon), Middles States Association Institutional Follow-Up Workshop, March 2016, Philadelphia, Penn.

Re-imagining Strategic Planning to Drive Resource Allocation

(with M. Buttenschon), Middle States Association Conference, December 2015, Washington D.C.

In Search of Abundance: Strategic Tools for the New Normal

(with Dr. L. Glenn), Chair Academy Conference, April 2013, Phoenix, Ariz.

Brighten Your Future with a Strengths Based Organizational Culture

(with C. Haynes, J. Maio, K. Wunderlich), Chair Academy Conference, March 2012, Atlanta, Ga.

Campaign as Catalyst

(with F. DuRoss & D. Ferro), National Council for Resource Development, November 2011, Washington D.C.

Higher Education’s Role in Strengthening Cybersecurity Capabilities-President’s Panel

Cybersecurity Summit at Utica College, June 2011, Utica, N.Y.

Leadership Strategies for Managing the Perception of Change

The Chair Academy Annual Conference, March 2011, Dallas, Texas

The Role of Continuing Education in Higher Education – President’s Panel

(With Dr. T. Schwarz & Dr. W. Richards) Continuing Education Association of New York (CEANY) Annual Conference, October 2010, West Point, N.Y.

Leadership in Action

(With Dr. R. Jubenville) National Council of Instructional Administrators Leadership Academy, April 2009, Phoenix, Ariz.

A Comprehensive Approach to Transforming Vocational Education

Association of Community College Trustees Annual Conference, September 2003, Denver, Colo.

Using Staff Development to Engage in Accreditation

(With S. Hoffman) Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association Annual Forum, April 2003, Chicago, Ill.

Reorganization to Transformation: Making the most of your efforts

(With T. Pensabene & J. Mangini) Consortium for Community College Development Summer Institute, June 2002, Kansas City, Mo.

Placement Paradox: Students’ Right to Fail or Right to Succeed?

ACT Nebraska State Conference, March 2000, Lincoln, Neb.

Organizational Climate: An Overlooked Dimension of Institutional Effectiveness

(With J.D. Brown) Association of Institutional Research, June 1999, Seattle, Wash.

Global Gold Mine: Uncovering Your Institution’s Strengths Before Internationalizing

(With R. Russell) National Association of Foreign Student Advisors, May 1999, Denver, Colo.

Lessons in Organizational Transformation

(invited by Robert Barr as co-keynote, with L. Bowman)

Aims Community College Staff Development Day, April 1999, Greeley, Colo.

Using the Web for Student Services

Community College Student Services Conference, February 1999, Denver, Colo.

Organizational Transformation: Honoring the Past–Creating the Future

(With L. Bowman & L. Spraggs) Conference on the Learning Paradigm, January 1999, San Diego, Cala.

Understanding Organizational Culture to Improve Strategic Planning

Society of College and University Planners, July 1998, Vancouver, BC

Joint Discovery: An NCA Assessment Plan in Action

(With V. Ingram, M. Smith, J.D. Brown) Colorado Regional Higher Education Assessment Conference, April 1996, Boulder, Colo.

Institutional Effectiveness: A Labor of Love

(With J. Parks–Andrews) Michigan Association of Institutional Research, October 1993, Cadillac, Mich.

VanWagoner, R. (2018). Competing on Culture: Driving Change in Community Colleges. Rowman & Littlefield. Lanhan, MD.

Tomanek, J., & VanWagoner, R. (2008, May/June). Taking learning seriously: A comprehensive adjunct faculty support system. The Adjunct Advocate: The Magazine for Adjunct College Educators, 22-29.

VanWagoner, R.J., Bowman, L.S., & Spraggs, L.D. (2005). Editor's choice: The significant community college. Community College Review. 33(1), 38–50.

VanWagoner, R.J. (2004, November). Strengthening general education – Back to the basics. Instructional Leadership Abstracts, 2(7), 1-2.

VanWagoner, R.J. (2004). Influencing the perception of organizational change in community colleges. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 28, 715-727.

VanWagoner, R.J. & Bradman, H.L. (2003, June/July). The curriculum design studio: A curriculum committee alternative for the 21st century. Community College Journal, 42-43.

VanWagoner, R. & Hoffman, S.C. (2003). Engaging in accreditation: Using staff development to achieve total participation. In Van Kollenburg, S.E. (Ed.) A Collection of Papers on Self-Study and Institutional Improvement, 2003. Volume 4: The Self-Study Process for Commission Evaluation. 2003 Edition (pp.52-54). Chicago, Illinois: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

VanWagoner, R.J. (2003). Tips for survival in a forest of change. Academic Leader,19(3),8.

Raftery, S. & VanWagoner, R. (2002). Using learning communities to develop basic skills. Learning Abstracts, 5(9).

VanWagoner, R.J. (2002). The influence of institutional and individual characteristics on the perception of organizational change. (Doctoral dissertation). Available at Mohawk Valley Community College.

VanWagoner, R.J. (2001). A framework for academic planning: Engaging faculty in strategic dialogue. Omaha, NE: Metropolitan Community College. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED454919)

Brown, J.D. & VanWagoner, R.J. (1999). Organizational climate: The overlooked dimension of institutional effectiveness. Seattle, WA: Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service, No. ED433754)

Current Service

American Red Cross

  • Volunteer Blood Donor (1991-1994, 2001-present)

Strategic Horizon Network

  • Co-Facilitator (2016-present)
  • Coordinator of bi-annual colloquia programs for small network of community colleges focused on equity, disruptive innovation, and vibrant organizational cultures. (2016-present)

Boilermaker Road Race

  • Board of Directors (2013-present)
  • Audit and Finance Committee (2018-present)
  • Community Engagement Committee, Chair (2015-present)
  • Governance Committee (2015-2018)

Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties

  • Board of Directors (2013-Present)
  • Executive Committee (2013-Present)
  • Governance Committee, Chair (2013-Present)

Jobs for the Future Policy Trust

  • Board Member (2018-present)

Mohawk Valley EDGE

  • Board of Directors (2007-present)
  • Executive Committee (2007-2009, 2014-2016)

New York Community Colleges Association of Presidents

  • President (2015-2019)
  • Member (2007-Present)
  • Chief Academic Officers Group Liaison (2014-2015)
  • Capital Funding Task Force (2009-2011)
  • American Graduation Initiative Task Force, Chair (2009-2010)
  • Website Task Force (2008-2009)

Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research (NUAIR) Alliance

  • Board of Directors (2017-present)

Oneida County Vision 20/20 Task Force

  • Taskforce Co-Chair (2013-present)

University of Colorado-Denver Higher Education Leadership

  • Doctoral Program Advisory Board (2018-present)

Previous Service

American Red Cross

  • Member, Utica Chapter Board of Directors (2007-2009)
  • Member, Mile High Chapter Board of Directors, Denver, Colo. (1997-1998)
  • Advisory Council Chairperson, Jefferson County, Colorado Branch (1995-1998)

Boy Scouts of America, Revolutionary Trails Council

  • Board of Directors, Executive Committee (2007-2009)
  • Co–Chair, Education Committee (2008)

Chair Academy

  • Board of Directors (2010-2014)

City of Utica

  • City Master Plan Community Steering Committee (2009-2010)
  • Mayor Roefaro Transition Team, Education Co-Chair (2008)

Excellus Utica Region Advisory Council

  • Council Member (2011-2013)

Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce

  • Board of Directors (2008-2011)
  • President's Council Chair (2011)
  • Nominating Committee (2009-2011)

Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council

  • Council Member (2011-2013)
  • Vision Workgroup Chair (2011)

Oneida County 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness Initiative

  • Community Chairperson (2008-2012)

Oneida County Workforce Investment Board

  • Member (2011-2014)

School and Business Alliance

  • Board of Directors (2008–2011)

Stanley Center for the Arts

  • Board of Directors (2008-2012)
  • Arts in Education Committee Chair (2009-2010)
  • Presenting Committee (2008-2011)

Genesis Group

  • Board of Directors, Executive Committee (2007-2009)

Kelberman Center

  • Board of Directors (2008-2013)
  • Vice President (2010-2013)

United Way of Greater Utica

  • Campaign Cabinet (2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Community Investment Committee (2008-2010)

Utica Rotary

  • Member (2007-2011)

Utica Symphony

  • Board of Directors (2009-2010)