From student to governing board member to professor, Randy Hartless’ story is woven around the years he’s spent at Arizona Western College. Now, his journey continues as he steps into a new administrative role as the Associate Dean for La Paz County Entrepreneurial College.
“I’m excited and grateful to be named the new Associate Dean of La Paz County Entrepreneurial College and I hope to hit the ground running in this new position,” said Hartless. “I feel like I’ve come full circle here, from being an AWC student to a governing board member to a faculty member and now to an administrator. I’ve experienced all of those roles and I hope it helps me to navigate this new position. I’m looking forward to forming some new connections and strengthening some old ones throughout La Paz County. I appreciate the opportunity!”
In his role as Associate Dean, Hartless will work to provide site-specific operational oversight at the AWC Parker Learning Center and evaluate Entrepreneurial College services to develop and implement strategies for course offerings, instructional delivery, and faculty and student support. In this leadership position, he will also have the opportunity to develop workforce training and reskilling programs to meet the industry and academic demands of the region.
“We are thrilled to welcome Randy Hartless as the new Associate Dean for La Paz County Entrepreneurial College. His remarkable journey from student to administrator, coupled with his extensive experience in education, governance, and community service, uniquely positions him to drive innovation and growth in our institution,” said Reetika Dhawan, AWC Entrepreneurial College Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of Workforce & Healthcare. “We look forward to his leadership in shaping impactful strategies that empower our students and contribute to the development of the region.”
Hartless represented La Paz County on the AWC District Governing Board from 2009-2013 and served as the board president in 2012. He is also a founding board member of the Western Arizona Vocational Education (WAVE) Career and Technical Education District and is currently the president of the Parker Unified District Governing Board, where he has served four terms. Hartless has served on the Parker Town Council since 2017 and he was elected Mayor in 2023. Additionally, he has also served as a board member for the Industrial Development Authority of La Paz County Board, the Local Workforce Investment Board, and the Western Arizona Council of Governments.
After earning an associate degree in General Studies from AWC in 2012, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Northern Arizona University in 2016 and a master’s degree in English-Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Media Studies from NAU in 2019. Hartless also earned a Graduate Certificate in Community College Teaching and Learning from NAU in 2020. Most recently, he earned an Adult Basic Education Certification from the Arizona Department of Education in 2023.
In addition to teaching English and Adult Ed courses as a professor at the AWC Parker Learning Center, Hartless is also the former Executive Director of the Parker Area Alliance for Community Empowerment (PAACE), a community nonprofit organization that works with kids aged 7-17 and their parents through a myriad of prevention programs. He and his wife Vivian moved to Parker in 1990 and they are state-certified foster parents. They have fostered nine children since 2018.