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The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

With bigger goals for higher education, Michael Poindexter to leave City College


Michael Poindexter, vice president of Student Services, sits in his office Sept. 18. He plans to retire November 9 after working for City College over the last 11 years. Aaron Zhang | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

With bigger goals for higher education, Michael Poindexter to leave City College

Every morning as the sun rises, he begins his day as he does most. He passes on breakfast
and coffee because he hates coffee and simply isn’t the breakfast type. He stands in front of the
mirror making sure his suit, shirt and tie look sharp just as his mentors have taught him.
To City College Vice President of Student Services Michael Poindexter, “If you look good, you
feel good and when you feel good, you spread that to everyone around you.”

Now several weeks into the 2018 fall semester Poindexter spends his days in meetings, working
and assisting students in need all over campus. He walks down the shadowy corridor alongside
Rodda North and South greeting each passing student with a smile and a nod. He reaches his
office and settles in.

Although his work itself is as it has always been, the feeling in the air this semester is quite
different. After over 11 years of service at City College, Poindexter will retire from his position
Nov. 9 to focus entirely on his consulting business, Engaging U.

“It’s a company that works with colleges all over the United States on Guided Pathways and
equity,” Poindexter says, “and also student success, accreditation, retention initiatives and

Although Poindexter is leaving City College, this isn’t the end of his institutional work.
“I had to make a very hard decision to stay or move towards helping all of the colleges I’m
working with,” Poindexter says. “I’m working with other colleges and coaching vice presidents all
across the country, and it’s gotten to be too much. My decision is to focus on all of this work that
I’m doing and Guided Pathways, which is a major movement all over the United States of how
we help students be successful.”

Guided Pathways is a program dedicated to creating a “highly structured approach to student
success that provides all students with a set of clear course-taking patterns” for future success,
according to its website.

Poindexter’s administrative career spans 25 years. He has worked with colleges all over the
country–from Iowa State and University of Colorado, Boulder, to Kingsborough Community
College and serving as vice president overseeing many Rhode Island community colleges, to
name only a handful.

He credits that experience to making him a “more secure and knowledgeable individual” and
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“It’s been a journey working with this institution to help transition into who we will be for the next
100 years,” Poindexter says as he reminisces about his short time as City College interim
president from 2016 to 2017. “I am most proud of the equity work we have done over the last 11
to 12 years, disrupting policy, culture and meeting the needs of our students.”

To his colleagues, Poindexter’s departure signifies a great loss for City College.
“He still has passion for his work. Michael’s always thinking big,” says Dean of Counseling
Andre Coleman. “There is this wisdom that he has that will be a huge void that we try to fill.”
Coleman has worked with Poindexter over the last two years and calls him a leader and mentor
to many at the institution.

“He loves Sacramento City College. It’s in his DNA,” Coleman says. “He’s wise, experienced
and incredible to work with. He’s like Yoda.”

There are no days off for Poindexter because he believes in the work that he does. So, while
the district continues its nationwide search for his replacement, it’s still business as usual for

“I am hoping that we continue to become a better institution for our students and that our
students hold us accountable for their success,” Poindexter says.

Even as the curtain closes on his time at City College, Poindexter tells himself one thing. It’s the
same thing he tells himself as he leaves for work every morning, and the same thing he tells
himself when he begins other days. It’s the same thing he’s going to tell himself in November as
he embarks on the next chapter in his career. “It’s showtime.”

Read more about Poindexter here:

City College replaces interim president; 15-month search for full time college president continues as Poindexter is replaced

Letter from City College President Michael Poindexter

President Poindexter opens up about pre-SCC experience

Changing of the guard: Michael Poindexter succeeds Kathryn Jeffery as interim president

Michael Poindexter to fill in as City College interim president after Jeffery exits




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