BENTON TOWNSHIP — Lake Michigan College has hired a new dean of student affairs.

As LMC’s dean of student affairs, Nygil B. Likely will be responsible for new student on-boarding, graduation, student outreach, support services, student advising, financial aid, grant programs, athletics and registration.  

Likely brings 23 years of higher education and nonprofit experience to LMC. His former positions include director of college access at Calvin College, associate vice chancellor of enrollment management at City Colleges of Chicago, career development manager at Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center, and program director at YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids.

Likely was selected from 86 candidates based on his student-centered philosophy and accomplishments in relation to increasing student satisfaction, retention and enrollment at other colleges.

“I’m drawn to serving students and helping them realize their potential to achieve and excel at their chosen careers,” Likely said in a news release. “You have to build a team of leaders around you who are empowered at all levels. We have to look for ways to be innovative in our approach and pivot well.”

In the past 20 years, Likely has observed some changes in what students need.

Addressing these changes will require partnerships with other community organizations, he said.

“We can’t do this work in a vacuum and it’s going to require partnerships and collaboration,” Likely said in the release. “Students are presenting with more challenges. There is a high degree of anxiety found on campuses. We need to have the ability to collaborate well with internal and external partners to provide the best possible wrap-around services and care. We need to be proactive and anticipate challenges ahead for higher education, and pivot early enough in our approach to serve students sustainably and effectively.”

Likely holds a master of arts in education/adult education, a master of business administration in human resource management, and a bachelor of science. He is working on his doctor of education.

He resides in Grand Rapids with his wife and four children and looks forward to becoming part of the Southwest Michigan community.