headshot Matt Seimears

LONGVIEW, WA - Today Dr. Matt Seimears was named the next president of Lower Columbia College (LCC). The selection was made during a board of trustees meeting, where trustees voted unanimously on his appointment.

“We had a wonderful pool of qualified applicants following a national search,” said Liz Cattin, chair of the board. “We believe that Dr. Seimears will be an informed and dynamic leader of the college, an involved member of our community, and an inspiring advocate for the community college mission.”

LCC, established in 1934 and located in Southwest Washington state, is the only institution of higher education serving Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties. As an open-access, comprehensive community college, LCC offers two applied bachelor’s degrees, 66 associate degrees, 27 certificates, high school diplomas, English Language Learning, and non-credit continuing education courses. Through its diverse offerings, LCC serves over 4,000 students a year.

“I’m overjoyed that I was selected as the incoming president. I am excited about working with the campus, the community, the region, and the state,” said Seimears. “Becoming the next president of LCC is the culmination of everything I’ve done and want to do in higher education. I’m looking forward to opportunities, innovation, and advancing partnerships for the greater good of Longview and beyond.”

LCC’s selection process was supported by Academic Search, a Washington D.C.-based firm specializing in higher education. Seimears will succeed Chris Bailey, J.D., who has served as LCC’s president for over 12 years. When he takes the helm on January 3, 2024, Seimears will become the 13th head of the college over its 90 year history, and the fifth president since LCC joined the Washington community and technical college system in 1967.

Seimears was the first member of his family to go to college. He entered the workforce as a MIG/TIG welder after being told in high school that “college isn’t for you.” His curiosity was piqued after reading about American colleges in a book he purchased at a thrift store for $.25, and he enrolled at Butler Community College. After transferring to Pittsburg State University, he nearly had to withdraw due to a lack of funds. With the help of a university administrator, he landed a job for $35 a week that kept him afloat. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree and began teaching English Language Learning elementary and middle school students. He also coached high school wrestling and university rugby teams.

Continuing his education, Seimears earned his Master's Degree from Wichita State University, a second Bachelor's Degree from Newman University, and a Ph.D. from Kansas State University. He taught as an adjunct at Cowley Community College for six years, a GED instructor for three years, and worked at Emporia State University for 15 years as an instructor/academic advisor, professor, associate department chair, and department chair. He became the Dean of the College of Education at Eastern Oregon University (EOU) in 2019, and was appointed Interim Provost at EOU in 2022.

Seimears has considerable experience with grants and fundraising, enrollment and academic initiatives including leading EOU’s efforts to become the Pacific Northwest Hub for the Rural Schools Collaborative, and has published a number of textbooks and scholarly articles. He has a new e-book coming out soon about teaching science to English Language Learners.