Dr. Hal Higdon, chancellor of Ozarks Technical Community College, will receive the 2017 Missourian Award at the 24th annual Missourian Awards ceremony. The event will be held Sept. 23 at Chateau on the Lake in Branson, Mo.
The Missourian Award – established in 1994 by Mr. Ralph Slavens – honors outstanding Missourians who have made widespread contributions to the state through civic, business, arts or political work. Honorees are selected by nomination and chosen by a committee of past recipients.
Dr. Higdon has served OTC as chancellor and president of the Springfield campus since 2006. Upon his arrival, Dr. Higdon aligned the leadership at OTC to focus primarily on workforce training, which led to the expansion of the college’s online offerings and new programs in allied health. As a result, OTC established new significance with area employers, and enrollment increased by more than 44 percent. Dr. Higdon also oversaw the physical expansions of the OTC System with new campuses in Christian and Taney counties, and centers in Lebanon and Waynesville.
Throughout his tenure, Dr. Higdon has focused on strengthening the college’s resources and funding. He worked tirelessly to make state appropriations for two-year colleges a priority, and, under his leadership, the OTC Foundation completed two successful capital campaigns netting more than $32 million for the college.
Prior to his time at OTC, Dr. Higdon served 13 years in administration with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He also worked in human resources and workforce training at Alabama’s Faulkner State Community College and spent several years in private business.
Throughout his career, Dr. Higdon has been heavily involved in a variety of community service organizations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the CoxHealth Systems, Burrell Behavioral Health and the Springfield Business Development Corporation, along with the Community Relations Board of the U. S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners and the Board of Directors for the United Way of the Ozarks. Dr. Higdon is also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Advisory Board.
Dr. Higdon recently held the position of vice-chairman of economic development for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He also served as chair of the Presidents and Chancellors Council of the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA), which represents community college interests in the state legislature and professional and governmental agencies.
Born in Decatur, Ala., Dr. Higdon holds a degree in business from the University of Alabama and a master’s and Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Southern Mississippi.