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The Mohave Community College president of eight years is set to retire in 2019.

Soon after an executive session Friday morning, the college’s governing board reconvened its public meeting where it was announced that Michael Kearns would retire. The executive session was held to discuss Kearns’ contract, according to board documents.

“We have a bittersweet announcement,” Board President Phyllis Smith said at the meeting, according to a press release. “Dr. Kearns has informed the board of governors he will retire in 2019. We commend him for his excellent service leading the college over the past eight years, and wish him all the best in his retirement. The board is working together to begin the process of conducting a national search to find another outstanding leader.”

Kearns did not immediately respond to inquiries from Today’s News-Herald about his retirement.

“I really enjoy working with our team here to provide quality and affordable higher education for our students,” said Kearns, according to a press release. “I’ll keep working with the team on our mission and goals, and help make the transition as smooth as possible.”

A press release states that Kearns joined the college in 2004 following his retirement from his dental practice in Ohio. He launched and managed the college’s dental school before becoming dean at its Bullhead City campus two years later, the document adds.

Kearns also served as vice-chancellor and then chancellor for four years prior to being named college president, according to the press release.

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