A State Fair Community College Roadrunner for 20 years, Dr. Brent Bates is the Vice President of Educational and Student Support Services at the college. Dr. Bates started at SFCC in 2002 as Vice President of Educational Services, serving as Chief Academic Officer responsible for leading academic and technical credit and non-credit programs along with Athletics. In 2009, he was given additional responsibility for Student and Academic Support Services. During his tenure SFCC was cited as one of the Top 50 fastest growing medium sized public community colleges in the U.S. two years in a row. With his leadership, SFCC developed and significantly expanded distance learning options, expanded extended campus operations to Clinton and Boonville, developed new academic and technical programs and implemented an exemplary student success program that provides a Navigator for each student.
Seeing firsthand the transformational impact of community colleges on individuals, families and communities, Dr. Bates developed a passion for community colleges during his more than 40-year tenure in higher education. His community college career started in 1987, when he was hired to start a journalism program at Labette Community College in Parsons, Ks. Starting as a faculty member, Dr. Bates earned increased responsibility, advancing to Division Chair, Associate Dean and finally to Dean of Instruction, Labette’s chief academic officer and his position prior to leaving that college for SFCC.
Dr. Bates has been active in the community and the state. He has been a member of the Workforce Development Board of Western Missouri for 20 years, has served on the board of the Sedalia-Pettis County United Way, serving as campaign chair and as President, and worked on the board of Sedalia Downtown Development, Inc., chairing the Economic Restructuring Subcommittee. He has served on numerous educational and economic development councils, committees and task forces in Missouri, including serving as a charter member of the Council of Chief Academic Officers, an advisory group to the Missouri Commissioner of Higher Education comprised of selected community college, university and private school CAOs. He has presented at national conferences numerous times. Many of the presentations focused on using business models such as Continuous Quality Improvement to improve academic quality, student success, planning, development and management.
Dr. Bates has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Fort Hays State University, Hays, Ks.; a Master of Arts degree in Communication from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Ks., and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Ks.
Dr. Bates is married to Marqueta Kay Bates and they have a 15-year-old son, Jackson, who is a freshman at Smith-Cotton High School. Dr. Bates also has two step-children, seven step-grandchildren and three step-great-grandchildren, most of whom live in the area.
Dr. Brent Bates, Ed.D.