President's Biography

Mark H. Vest
Mark H. Vest
Mark H. Vest

(B.A. & M.A., History, The University of Kentucky; M.A., Higher Education Leadership and Student Affairs, The Ohio State University)

Mark Vest became the eighth President of Northland Pioneer College in July 2018. He had previously served as Acting President of the institution, in addition to his duties as the Vice President for Learning and Student Services, following the Governing Board’s termination of a previous president’s employment. Vest had originally come to Northland Pioneer in 2001 as the Academic Advising Coordinator; advanced to Dean/Vice President for Student Services in 2003; and added oversight of Learning Services in the fall of 2008.

Prior to coming to Northland Pioneer, Vest had served as:

  • Director of Orientation and Leadership Development at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina
  • Admissions Counselor/Orientation Director at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Admissions Counselor/Recruiter at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky

While an undergraduate history and honors program student at the University of Kentucky, Vest was a finalist for National Merit and Harry S. Truman scholarships, and the recipient of a Presidential Scholarship. As a Gaines Humanities Fellow, his thesis focused on “Anglo-Scot Relations, 1603-1660.” For his Modern American History master’s degree thesis, Vest prepared a case study on the “Kennedy Administration’s Counterinsurgency Policy: OPERATION RANCHHAND in Southeast Asia.”

Vest was a co-founder and president of the University of Kentucky strategy and wargaming association and was also a co-founder and served on the board of directors for the student radio station, WRFL-FM.

As the college’s representative, Vest has been heavily involved in developing transfer articulation agreements for Arizona community college students to the state’s public universities, serving on the Arizona Transfer Articulation and Steering Committees and the Arizona Chief Academic Officers Council.

He also served on the Navajo County Rural Transit Advisory Committee; was a member of the Blue Ridge Unified School District Education Foundation; and served on the White Mountain Symphony Foundation Board.

Vest has made presentations at the Higher Learning Commission’s annual conferences on NPC’s distance learning delivery challenges and on redesigning institutional priorities in the face of significant change.

He currently serves on:

  • Arizona Community College Coordinating Council (AC4)
  • AC4 Liaison to AzTransfer and Chief Academic Officers Council

Northland Pioneer College is a tax-supported, comprehensive community college serving about 8,000 students annually in both Navajo and Apache counties; an area of 21,158 square miles, roughly the size of the state of West Virginia. The Navajo, Hopi and White Mountain Apache reservations occupy more than 60 percent of the total land in the district service area, and also account for 60 percent of the population. Campuses are located in four of the largest Navajo County communities: Holbrook, Show Low, Snowflake/Taylor, and Winslow. Five centers are located in Hopi, Kayenta, Springerville/Eagar, St. Johns, and Whiteriver.

Revised July 2018