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Finalists Announced for Barton Community College Presidency


By Maggie Harris, Barton Community College


GREAT BEND, Kan. — Barton Community College is pleased to announce the final two candidates in the search for the College’s next president. The search began in September when Dr. Carl Heilman announced his retirement effective June 30 after providing leadership for seventeen years

The search committee, chaired by Board of Trustees Chairman Mike Johnson, including members of College administration, faculty, staff, and a handful of residents of Barton County, conducted virtual interviews last week with four semi-finalists before selecting the final candidates.

“The search committee is excited to move onto this final step in the selection process,” he said. “We look forward to continued conversations with both of these outstanding finalists and to share their vision of the future of the College with the Barton community.”

The presidential finalists are (in alphabetical order):

Dr. Seth Carter

Dr. Carter has served as the president of Colby Community College (CCC) in Colby since March 2015. During his nine years at CCC, he led improvements in student outcomes, providing the highest outcomes among community colleges in the state and nation. He helped increase the college’s fiscal responsibility by developing capital outlay and financial reserves. He also worked diligently to foster positive relationships with the local community and state stakeholders while creating a collaborative campus culture focused on a student-centric approach to decision-making.

Before joining the leadership at CCC, he served as the Associate Director for Career and Technical Education for the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR). Dr. Carter earned his doctorate of education from Baker University, his master of science from Pittsburg State University, and his bachelor of arts in communication studies from Emporia State University. He also holds associate of arts degrees from CCC and Allen Community College.

Dr. Marcus Garstecki

Dr. Garstecki has over 25 years of higher education experience in various roles, including 15 years in senior leadership. He is the chief enrollment management officer at Northern State University (NSU) in Aberdeen, S. D., where he collaborated with leadership to enhance student recruitment efforts and develop strategies for leveraging scholarship dollars to increase enrollment. He also led the implementation of the college’s first comprehensive enrollment plan that led to enrollment growth for first-time freshmen, transfer, and graduate students and an improved retention rate. Before NSU, he served as executive vice president for campus operations and vice president for student affairs and enrollment management at Presentation College.

Dr. Garstecki earned his Ph.D. in education and human resource studies from Colorado State University, his master of science in physical education from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and his bachelor of science in physical education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Arrangements are underway for the finalists to visit the Barton County and Fort Riley campuses the week of January 15. Open forums will be planned for College administration, faculty, and staff. Public meetings will be scheduled for residents of Barton County to meet both finalists. Details for meetings will be announced in early January upon finalization of the details.

A special Board meeting is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 30 for approval of Barton’s sixth president. For more information, visit