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Macomb Community College Board of Trustees finalizes appointment of James O. Sawyer IV, Ed.D., as the college’s next president

– Thursday, March 16, 2017 12:00AM

The Macomb Community College Board of Trustees has finalized the appointment of James O. Sawyer IV, Ed.D, as the college’s next president, approving an employment contract at its meeting on Wednesday evening.  The three-year contract provides for an annual salary of $225,000 and yearly cost-of-living increases of at least one percent.  Sawyer will assume the presidency on July 1, 2017. 

“As Macomb’s next president, Dr. Sawyer will not only ensure a seamless, positive transition for the college, but he also possesses the dual strengths of being an experienced educator with a comprehensive grounding in business and industry,” said Jennifer Haase, chair, Macomb Community College Board of Trustees.  “In addition, Dr. Sawyer’s work in spearheading the college’s cultural shift from student access to student success will be a valuable aspect of his institutional leadership.” 

The appointment of Sawyer as Macomb’s sixth president is the culmination of a national search initiated in September 2016 to find a replacement for retiring president James Jacobs.   Sawyer was one of four finalists for the position.    

Sawyer has 14 years of experience at Macomb, previously serving as vice provost for Career Programs and dean of Engineering and Advanced Technology, as well as 17 years of business experience in leadership positions in engineering, quality and operations prior to joining the college. As provost, he has been leading Macomb’s cultural transformation from focus on student access to focus on student success.  Sawyer earned a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Lawrence Technological University, and master’s in administration and doctorate in educational leadership from Central Michigan University. More detailed biographical information is available at

“I appreciate the support and confidence of the college’s board of trustees, and I am humbled to be following in the footsteps of Dr. Jacobs,” said Sawyer. “I look forward to continuing to emphasize student success, working with Macomb’s outstanding faculty and staff in developing meaningful resources and support in helping students  overcome barriers that sometimes interfere with their goals, whether that be earning a credential that provides direct entry to the workforce, working toward an advanced degree, mastering a new skill or learning for personal satisfaction.” 

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College ( is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 40,000 students annually.  Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and is the largest grantor of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Media Contact: Jeanne Nicol, 586.445.7204,