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Judith Bense, president of the University of West Florida, and Michael G. Scales, president of Nyack College, have been elected to terms on the Division II Presidents Council.
They replace Dorothy Leland, who recently assumed another presidency at a non-NCAA member institution, and Phil Gerdino, who is retiring.
Bense, who played varsity softball while an undergraduate at Florida State, has served at West Florida for 30 years. She became the school’s fifth president in 2008.
Since taking office, Bense has focused on growth, visibility and partnerships with the goal of making West Florida a first-choice school.
She founded the West Florida program of anthropology/archaeology in 1980 and became the anthropology department chair in 2001. She established the Archaeology Institute in 1980 and served as its director for 20 years, authoring five books and 17 chapters in books and professional journals. She was awarded more than 75 grants and contracts totaling more than $6 million. In 2006, she founded the Florida Public Archaeology Network.
Bense has a strong commitment to the community and serves on the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Florida’s Great Northwest Workforce Innovation and Regional Economic Development Board of Directors, and the United Way Board of Directors. She is active in member and leadership roles in major higher education organizations including the American Council on Education, the Association of Governing Boards, the American Association of State Colleges, and the Universities and National Collegiate Athletic Association.
She has received numerous awards and honors including induction into the order Isabella de Cathólica by King Juan Carlos of Spain.
Scales, the founder and president of an award-winning management and marketing firm, became the 12th president of Nyack in 2007.
Michael G. Scales
He previously had served the institution as executive vice president and vice president for advancement and enrollment.
Since his 2007 inauguration, Nyack has launched the bachelor of science in nursing degree and dedicated the Nyack College School of Nursing; established an endowed distinguished chair of nursing; approved the school’s first doctoral program (the doctor of ministry); and launched a criminal justice major.
Scales is a board member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation (Shell Point Retirement Community), the largest life-care community in Florida. He served as board secretary for the New York State Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities board of trustees and has also served as chair and vice chair of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Commission for Advancing Intercultural Competencies.