President Emerita, Lane Community College Higher Education Consultant and Certified Executive Coach
Dr. Mary Spilde served as president of Lane Community College for 16 years. She was named President Emerita upon her retirement from the college in June, 2017. She is a nationally respected authority on community colleges, workforce development, leadership and sustainability. Dr. Spilde has 37 years of experience in higher education. She was named Lane’s sixth president in 2001, after serving six years in two vice president roles. Before Lane, she held a variety of leadership positions at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, OR for 15 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in business and social systems and a law degree from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and a master’s in adult education and a doctorate in post-secondary education from Oregon State University. Dr. Spilde is a frequent presenter, author and spokesperson and has often been quoted in the national media including the Chronicle of Higher Education, Washington Post, New York Times, PBS Newshour, and other media.
Dr. Spilde has served on a number of influential committees and boards at the national level, including as Chair of the Board of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and board member of the American Association of Colleges and Universities and the League for Innovation in the Community College. She has also served on numerous non-profit and corporate boards.
She has received many national and state awards. For example, she received the AACC Leadership Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2019; in 2011 she was named the national CEO of the Year by the Association of Community College Trustees. In 2012 she received the Woman of the Year Award from the American Association of Women in Community Colleges, the US Green Building Council President’s Award and was named Eugene First Citizen for her work in catalyzing downtown revitalization.
Dr. Spilde continues to design and deliver leadership and organizational development programs. She teaches in the Higher Education Doctoral Program at Oregon State University and consults with colleges and non-profits to develop emotionally intelligent and results-oriented organizations. She designed and facilitates an Executive Leadership Academy for the Oregon Community College Association to improve the pipeline of future leaders. She is a Leadership Coach for Achieving the Dream. Dr. Spilde facilitates board retreats focused on Board/President relationships and onboarding new Presidents/CEOs. Dr. Spilde facilitates the AACC New President/CEO Academy. She is a Certified Leadership Coach working with senior leaders throughout the country.