San Juan College announced Mr. Brandon Whatley has been selected as the Vice President for Learning. Mr. Whatley is scheduled to begin his employment on July 31.

western view of the san juan college educational services building with the clocktower in the forefront, trees changing colors to yellow and gold.

VP Brandon WhatleyEarlier this year, Dr. Lisa Perez was appointed as the interim Vice President for Learning. The search for a Vice President came when Dr. Adrienne Forgette retired in December of 2022.

“We are pleased Mr. Whatley has accepted the position as Vice President for Learning,” said Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass, president of San Juan College. “Our top priority at San Juan College is our students’ success. Mr. Whatley’s impressive background and his experience working with both industry and community partners will help us advance our strategic initiatives.”

Mr. Whatley is a New Mexico native who has worked in higher education for nearly 21 years. He is currently employed at Austin Community College and has worked there for the past 14 years. Mr. Whatley has served as the Dean of Design, Manufacturing, Construction, and Applied Technologies since 2017. Prior to that, he was the interim dean for two years. Before he served as interim dean, he was the department chair and a professor for the welding technology department.

Mr. Whatley also worked at Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell for seven years as a department chair and professor for the welding technology department. In 2019, Mr. Whatley received the Austin Community College Administrator of the Year award. In 2020, he received the Austin Community College Chancellor’s Leadership Excellence Award.

Mr. Whatley earned his Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding from Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell. Then, he attained a bachelor’s degree in occupational education from Eastern New Mexico University. Next, he earned a master’s degree in education

from Eastern New Mexico University. He is planning to complete his Doctorate in Leadership and Learning in Organizations at Vanderbilt University in July.

“As a community college graduate and lifelong learner, I'm truly passionate about enriching student success and connecting with our diverse student body, faculty, and staff,” said Mr. Whatley. “I'm thrilled to be joining San Juan College and the Farmington community, and I look forward to serving alongside this first-class team of educational professionals.”

Brandon and his wife Jenna are looking forward to their upcoming move back to New Mexico, where they have deep roots. Jenna is excited to continue her veterinary medicine career in the Four Corners area. They will be joined by their two fury kids, their dogs, Lady and Chula. In their free time, they enjoy hiking, fishing, and exploring new places. They are both excited about the wide range of outdoor activities available in the region and are eager to contribute to the community in meaningful ways.