DEARBORN — Henry Ford College President Stan Jensen announced his retirement from the college, effective June 30, 2018, which is the end of the 2017-18 school year.
Jensen officially announced his plan to retire at the HFC Board of Trustees meeting on April 17. This 14-month period until his retirement will allow a smooth transition of power between Jensen and his successor.
“I make this announcement under the best possible set of circumstances and with satisfaction knowing that we – as a team – have accomplished a great deal to date,” Jensen said. “My intention is that we will accomplish much more – together – over the next 14 months.”
Jensen highlighted strategies which will be implemented between now and his retirement:
• Continuing a successful Major Gifts Campaign.
• Pursuing academic and IT optimization.
• Working with the Michigan legislature and HFC’s level of state funding and capital outlay funding.
• Maximizing HFC’s partnerships with educational institutions, business and industry.
• Initiating a national search effort for a quality leader – someone cognizant of the challenges HFC faces – who will take the college into the next decade and beyond.
“The HFC Board of Trustees is saddened to learn of the upcoming retirement of Dr. Jensen,” HFC Board of Trustees President Mariam Bazzi said. “When he first came to (HFC), the college was going through a particularly difficult period. His leadership, steadfastness and skills have led the college to financial stability. His vision and drive to innovate has led the college to adapt to the changing needs of our students so that we can best serve them and the surrounding community.
“We look forward to continuing to work with him over the next year while we begin our search for and transition to a new president. As Dr. Jensen commonly says, ‘There are great things ahead for the college’ and that is, in part, because of his service. We sincerely thank him and wish him the best in this new chapter.”
A veteran of higher education for more than 40 years, Jensen has been president of HFC since 2013. Under his leadership, he steered HFC out of a $16 million budget deficit through various cost-savings measures, passed a millage and re-focused efforts at the college on student success initiatives. These initiatives include national and international outreach efforts to existing and new college partners and students – which are key to HFC’s continued growth and success.
Additionally, under Jensen, HFC now offers its first bachelor’s degree program in Culinary Arts in addition to its numerous associate’s degree and certification programs, which called for HFC to change its name from Henry Ford Community College in 2014 to its current name. More bachelor’s degree programs at HFC are slated to be launched down the line.
Prior to joining HFC, Jensen served as the president and CEO of Colorado Mountain College in Denver. During his career, he was also founder and president of his own consulting company for more than 20 years, which has provided leadership development, team building, process improvement training, personal coaching, strategic planning, and keynote addresses to colleges, universities, businesses and non-profit organizations.
He is also a certified fundraising manager. Further, he has authored three non-fiction books about leadership and team-building.
Jensen earned his undergraduate degree from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, where he majored in speech and minored in Greek; a master’s of divinity from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary; and a doctorate from the University of Iowa in history and the philosophy of education.
He also serves as the chair-elect for the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for 2017. Jensen received the chamber’s 2015 Business Leader of the Year Award in recognition of his leadership at HFC upon emerging from a challenging financial crisis in 2014.
“My wife, Teresa, and I have come to love Michigan a great deal,” he said. “However, we find that we truly miss being closer to our family, especially our parents who are in their declining years. Therefore, until June 30, 2018, I intend to make the most of every opportunity to continue improving this stellar academic institution, of which I have become most appreciative.
“I am grateful for the talented and gifted team members who assist me every day, and I am thankful to have been part of the history and of the example that we have set.”