david roland finley, ph.d.
4th President of North Central Michigan College
"My vision for North Central is that it becomes the model community college, one that others throughout Michigan, and beyond, choose to emulate. At NCMC we strive to provide higher education that is exceptional and accessible."
- David Roland Finley, Ph.D.
"Dr. Finley’s organizational skills, speaking skills and understanding of the college business are strengths he has brought to North Central. He knows how to manage scarce resources, how to fundraise and understands that creating and managing our college brand is important.”
Dr. David R. Finley was named president of North Central Michigan College in 2018. Previously, Dr. Finley served over two years as the provost and vice president for academic affairs (interim) at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, where he also served as dean of the of the College of Business and Engineering from 2012 to 2018. Prior to his work at LSSU, Dr. Finley was vice president of academic affairs at Trine University in Angola, Indiana.
Although he began his career as an environmental consultant, Dr. Finley found his niche in academia. He is driven by a passion that education—and access to education—are the great equalizers, and he is an ardent advocate for campus-wide diversity and cross-cultural experiences.
Dr. Finley received a bachelor's degree in atmospheric and oceanic science and a master's degree in atmospheric science, both from University of Michigan. He also holds a master's degree and doctoral degree in chemical engineering, both from Wayne State University.
Dr. Finley is a member of the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, the American Society for Engineering Education, the Engineering Society of Detroit, and the Tau Beta Pi engineering honorary.
On Leadership: Combining the advantages of first-rate academics, thoughtful planning, and hardworking people, I am an individual who strives to achieve the strongest synergism possible in all activities.
On Finances: Whether the issue is affordability, accountability, accessibility, or others faced by higher education today, these challenges can be overcome by working collaboratively.
On Community Relationships: Having grown up in a small, rural community and served in academic leadership roles in two more, I appreciate that local relationships are critical to the success of the College and the next President. NCMC is a distinctive institution, poised for even greater impact moving forward. Communicating a vision for the future which is common to all academic, co-curricular, and extra-curricular units is of paramount importance.
On Internal Collaboration: The President must place students and their learning first. This is accomplished by supporting all throughout the academic organization, clarifying expectations for faculty work (both full-time and adjunct), and advocating for the primacy of the academic mission.
On External Partnerships: I have a passion for higher education and leadership, and I savor the chance to connect people, ideas, and resources.
On Campus-Wide Diversity: My commitment to advancing diversity and tolerance in higher education is also strong and sincere. Indonesian, Korean, Asian Indian, African American, and Jordanian roommates in college truly opened the eyes of this small-town Michigan boy of Scotch-Irish/German heritage to the commonality of humanity. As a first-generation college student myself, immersive cross-cultural experiences via domestic and international travel have also greatly contributed to my understanding of our world, and I am an ardent advocate of these opportunities. Thankfully, education and access to that education are the great equalizers.