Three Rivers' President, Devin Stephenson, Steps Down
In a letter dated June 25, Stephens addressed Dr. Randy Grassham of the college’s Board of Trustees, requesting that the board grant his sabbatical request. The sabbatical would take effect immediately and continue through November 30, 2014.
“During this period, I will be available as directed by the Board to perform consulting services to the college in matters related to grants, construction, legislative, and/or funding matters,” wrote Stephenson.
He further requested that at the end of the sabbatical period, he be released from his obligations under his employment agreement with the Board of Trustees.
“I understand we are both legally obligated under this employment agreement, however, I am requesting termination of the agreement by mutual consent,” he further wrote.
Stephenson said he would like to pursue alternative opportunities related to higher education.
“I wish Three Rivers college nothing but the best as it continues to fulfill its mission in providing educational opportunities and improving the quality of life for the citizens of Southeast Missouri,” he concluded.
Stephenson began his tenure with Three Rivers College in 2009. In that time, he has been credited with being a driving force behind efforts to obtain funding and create partnerships within area communities. Under his leadership, Three Rivers was selected by the U.S. Department of Education to receive almost $2 million in Title III funding to develop innovative curriculum and enhance support services directed at student success.
The Missouri Department of Education has noted that Three Rivers was the fastest-growing community college in the state, with a 13.5 percent gain from 2010 to 2011. Enrollment has increased by about 50 percent. A number of improvements are currently being made on the Three Rivers campus, including a new entrance.
He began his career in higher education as a financial aid officer at a small technical college in Alabama.
Stephenson has a wife, Judy, and children, Jon, and JuliAnne.
Three Rivers President to Leave College, Interim Named
Dr. Devin Stephenson, who has served as President of Three Rivers College since 2009, announced his intentions to leave the institution at the monthly meeting of the college’s Board of Trustees on Wednesday, June 25. Stephenson requested a sabbatical leave through November 30, to be followed by the voluntary termination of his contract. The board then named Dr. Wesley Payne, Vice President for Learning, as Interim President of Three Rivers.
Stephenson cited a desire to pursue alternative opportunities related to higher education as the reason for his request. During his sabbatical, Stephenson will serve as a consultant to the college to ease the administration’s transition. As per his request, the sabbatical period began immediately.
“I wish Three Rivers College nothing but the best as it continues to fulfill its mission in providing educational opportunities and improving the quality of life for the citizens of Southeast Missouri,” wrote Stephenson in his request letter to the Board of Trustees. “My wife and I have had the honor and privilege of working with some of the finest people we have met, and our thoughts and prayers will always be for progress and the advancement of the college, and the continued success of its students.”
Randy Grassham, Chairman of Three Rivers’ Board of Trustees, said that the college would likely not begin seeking a permanent successor to Stephenson until after the sabbatical period ends, with Payne serving as Interim President in the meantime. Payne expressed his confidence in the ability of Three Rivers to remain stable and strong during the interim.
“I can say without hesitation that this is one of the finest groups of educators I have ever had the pleasure to work with, and I am fully confident that we will continue to serve the region with the same dedication and excellence,” said Payne. “I have been working extremely closely with Dr. Stephenson on all the college’s major projects, and I’m fully confident that this will be a smooth transition.”
Three Rivers College is committed to contributing to the quality of life in Southeast Missouri with quality, affordable higher education opportunities and community services that support and encourage the economic, civic, and cultural vitality of the region. For more information about college and workforce programs and upcoming events, visit trcc.edu.