College Chief concludes 32-year career at Ogden-Weber’s Tech College
Ogden, Utah – Today, Collette Mercier, the President of Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College (OWATC) announced her retirement, concluding a remarkable career at the school she began service to in 1984.
“Working at Ogden-Weber for over 32 years has been an incredible experience,” said President Mercier in announcing her retirement. “The opportunity to serve as president the past ten years has been an honor and a privilege. The groundwork laid in those earlier years allowed us to progress more quickly; and the change in status to technical colleges helped immensely with public perception in our local communities. Our partnerships with employers has always been our strength and has become even better the past ten years. The college is in a great position to move forward even more rapidly, and I look forward to watching the college progress.”
“The entire UCAT system and the State of Utah owe President Mercier deep gratitude for her service to our community,” said UCAT Board Chair Jim T. Evans. “Her drive, wisdom, compassion, confidence, caring, and overall leadership is unparalleled; her positive impact on the lives of Utahns immeasurable. It has been a privilege for me to know and learn from her.”
OWATC Board Chair Steve Moore added, “As Chair of the OWATC Board of Directors, it has been my honor, privilege and learning to be associated with President Mercier’s leadership and example over the past several years. Her tireless and positive influence at the college, the local school districts, Weber State, and throughout the community has placed OWATC in prominence among these entities, the industrial employer base, and most importantly, the students they serve. She has developed and led a great and cohesive leadership team at the college which is recognized throughout the community. Under her leadership, many operational best practices developed at OWATC have been shared with the other seven ATC’s. President Mercier will leave a large legacy.”
“Having served alongside President Mercier as a College President at the Uintah Basin ATC and during my time at Utah State University, I know first-hand how impactful and important she has been to the system,” said UCAT Commissioner Dave Woolstenhulme. “She has played a key role in the growth of the OWATC from its humble beginnings as an area vocational center to the world-class institution it is today. Her unique ability to create and build upon partnerships with public and higher education, the business community, elected officials, and the public is truly remarkable. Simply put, the OWATC and everyone associated with it are better off today because of President Collete Mercier.”
President of Ogden-Weber Technical College since 2007, President Mercier also served as vice president for instructional services from 1994 to 2007, achieving enrollment growth of nearly 40 percent and placement growth of over 50 percent. President Mercier developed a very positive relationship with faculty, building upon an understanding of respective roles and a joint commitment to serving students and employers. President Mercier served as the first chief academic officer for the Utah College of Applied Technology (UCAT).
In 2005, she provided leadership and direction for the college’s initial accreditation with the Council on Occupational Education (COE). The tech college received no recommendations (extremely rare for initial accreditation) and four commendations, and was the first UCAT campus to achieve COE accreditation.
President Mercier is active in the community and is involved with the following organizations: Weber Economic Development Partnership; Utah Defense Alliance; Council on Occupational Education National Review Board; Weber County Production Managers’ Association; Ogden/Weber Chamber of Commerce; Chamber Legislative Affairs Committee; Rotary International; Utah Women in Higher Education Network; Ogden United Board; and Zions Bank Advisory Board.
President Mercier’s awards include: Chamber Women in Business “Athena Award,” January 2009; Utah Business magazine, selected as one of “30 Women to Watch,” April 2008; YCC “Spirit of the American Woman – Amy Armstrong Non-Traditional Award,” 2004; and Ogden-Weber Area Vocational Center “Superintendent’s Outstanding Staff Award,”1992.
A Michigan native, President Mercier received a BA degree from Saginaw Valley State College and an MA degree from Michigan State University.
President Mercier’s retirement takes effect on July 1, 2017. The process for replacing President Mercier is underway.