Crowder College President Dr. Alan Marble is headed to Missouri Southern State University, while former Crowder President Dr. Kent Farnsworth has been tabbed to take over Marble's position at Crowder.

Crowder College President Dr. Alan Marble is headed to Missouri Southern State University, while former Crowder President Dr. Kent Farnsworth has been tabbed to take over Marble's position at Crowder.

Marble announced Monday that he will retire from Crowder College at the end of June, after 27 years of working at the community college.

The Crowder College Board of Trustees, on Tuesday, selected Farnsworth to take over as interim president for the 2013-2014 school year. Farnsworth had served as Crowder's president for 19 years, before retiring in 2004.

Meanwhile, Marble will continue to work in higher education, and is set to begin his duties as Special Assistant to the President at MSSU on July 1, the university announced Tuesday.

"With his long experience in higher education administration and his intricate knowledge of the needs of students, we knew Dr. Marble would be a great fit at MSSU," MSSU President Bruce Speck said in a news release. "We're looking forward to welcoming Dr. Marble to our team and working with him to continue the growth of Missouri Southern."

Marble's new job description includes work on a variety of special projects, including developing relationships with area community colleges.

"I'm sure that one of the things we'll be doing is trying to smooth the transfer pathway for community college students around the area," Marble said. "It's a very important element to help students make the transition after they finish their community college work to move to the university and be successful. That's kind of a passion of mine. I'm excited to go back to my alma mater and see if we can do some things that will help students, that's what it's all about."

Marble began his work with Crowder College in 1986, as the school's director of adult continuing education, a title he held for one year. For the next 10 years, he worked as the community college's director, and then dean, of development and business relations, before serving five years as the Dean of Business and Support Services.

In 2006, Marble was named interim president, and was given the title of president the following year.

He also worked with fundraising in his time at Crowder, and prior to holding any faculty position, had attended the college as a student.

"After 27 years at Crowder College, it will be difficult to say goodbye," Marble said in a news release. "But I'm looking forward to this next step at Missouri Southern, and I'm excited to see how the schools can continue to collaborate for the betterment of students across the region."

Meanwhile, Farnsworth says he looks forward to returning to Crowder.

"My wife and I talked about it and both of us agreed that we have received so much from the college in our time here that we certainly shouldn't regret having an opportunity to pay something back," Farnsworth said. "We're glad to be able to help out during this year while they select the new president."

Following his retirement in 2004, Farnsworth became the Director of the Community College Leadership Program and the Center for International Community College Education and Leadership at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.

Farnsworth retired from USML in 2010.

Since then, he has remained active in the educational community as a leadership coach for the Lumina Foundation's national Achieving the Dream initiative.

He has also acted as an adviser for the development of new community college systems in Southeast Asia, as well as authored several books, including two on education leadership and reform.

Farnsworth said the college has had dramatic growth since his retirement. He also noted that there will be several new faces for him when he returns to Crowder.

"I know that the spirit's the same and the same kind of mission and vision, and that the college has been very well cared for," Farnsworth said. "Both Dr. Marble and the board have done a terrific job of moving the college forward."

Farnsworth said he will be filling the position only long enough to allow the Crowder College Board of Trustees to perform a search for a new president, and that he does not intend on staying on longer than in the interim.