This month’s spotlight will introduce you to Dr. Curt Freed, Morgan Community College’s ninth president. We were eager to sit down with him and learn about his background and what he sees his role to be at the college.
Dr. Freed has worked in various roles in the community college setting since 1994 and attained his first Dean position at the age of 31. He most recently worked as the Vice President of Instruction at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington, before assuming the presidency at MCC. Being that he had never been to Colorado prior to applying for the job, we asked him what he found appealing about this area. He was impressed by the reputation MCC has for having a great work culture and believes that an institution in a smaller area has the potential to touch more people’s lives. It was very clear during our interview that the achievements of our students are at the top of his priority list, as well as the college’s relationship with the surrounding community.
While not wanting to make big changes early on in his tenure, Dr. Freed does have plans for the future of MCC and Fort Morgan, believing that we can build on the steady foundation we already have. He envisions ways to stimulate Morgan County’s economy by way of new programs, and ultimately strives to make Fort Morgan a destination for people seeking a place of culture and opportunity. Part of his plan is to continue to support the Center for Arts and Community Enrichment (CACE) as he firmly believes that the arts are an important aspect of any community. On the Fort Morgan campus, he would like to introduce more student activities and culture and make the campus a place to “get together” not just to take classes.
A unique qualification that Dr. Freed has is two degrees in Psychology and Counseling and Guidance. He remarked that psychology has always been a passion and, in fact he obtained certification in chemical dependency and originally planned to spend his life as a therapist working one-on-one with patients. However, a faculty position early on his career led him into the field of academia, and later led him to attain a doctorate in Higher Education Administration. For his dissertation, he connected both areas of knowledge and studied emotional intelligence in college presidents, examining how control of one’s own emotions and interpersonal skills helps foster a happier and more productive workplace. He would like the MCC staff to continue to thrive and, in turn, give their personal best to the students.
We asked Dr. Freed for any further comments, and he said that he has been overwhelmed by the warm reception he has received by various people and businesses in Fort Morgan and is very grateful. He looks forward to the future!