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RACC names ‘tireless advocate’ for community colleges as new president

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Susan Looney will become Reading Area Community College’s new president, its board of trustees announced.

Looney, senior vice president of academic affairs/provost, will succeed Anna Weitz, who will retire June 30 after 11 years in the position.

Looney is a community college graduate who went on to earn a bachelor’s, Master of Business Administration, law degree and doctorate in education.

She joined RACC in 2014 as dean of instruction and was promoted to her current position in 2015.

Guido Pichini, chair of the board of trustees, said he is extremely confident in Looney and that she provides the best combination of skills, experience and vision to lead the college. Founded in 1971, RACC has about 5,200 students on its main campus in Reading and a new satellite campus in Spring Township.

“She has a keen sense of where RACC needs to go in the future and what we need to do to further encourage student success and community impact,” Pichini said in a statement.

Looney spent the past 20 years in a variety of academic and administration roles at community colleges, including Mohave Community College in Arizona and Delaware Technical Community College.

Prior to working in higher education, she worked for the U.S. Department of Defense as an operations research analyst, where she created detailed planning and forecast models and briefed top Army officials and the House Appropriations Committee on budget and performance issues.

The board of trustees selected Looney as its sixth president after a national search.

“Through her tenure, she has consistently demonstrated her passion for education, her commitment to our students and to this community,” Pichini said.

“She is a tireless advocate for the community college system, a skilled administrator and, as a community college graduate herself, an ideal role model for our students.”

She has an associate degree from Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, N.J. She earned her bachelor’s degree and MBA from Monmouth University, a J.D. from Widener University School of Law and an Ed.D. in higher education leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Weitz said Looney’s tenure at RACC “is best characterized as one of focus. She is deeply committed to the success of our students and has focused the staff on excellence, while using outcomes to inform next steps. She will serve RACC, our students and the community with distinction.”

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