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COCC maps out new president search


The Central Oregon Community College Board announced Monday a two-part plan to fill the position of president at COCC in the wake of the recent halt to hiring Dr. Patrick Lanning.

Board Chair Bruce Abernethy said he and the other board members are confident this plan will provide strong leadership for the college during the upcoming year.

First, President Jim Middleton, scheduled to retire on June 30th, will stay on as president through mid September.

Second, Dr. Shirley Metcalf, COCC’s dean of extended learning, will assume the position of interim president on Sept. 15th.

The board scrapped earlier plans to hire Lanning after learning he had been placed on paid leave at his current position in February.

“Over the past few days, I have talked to leaders on the campus about what is needed for the upcoming year,” Abernethy said. “I appreciate that Dr. Middleton is so willing to help out at this time by continuing to lead COCC, and to help Shirley Metcalf’s transition into the role of interim president.

“Dr. Metcalf has proven herself as a quality leader,” Abernethy said. “Both in terms of her experience prior to coming to COCC, in Hawaii and Washington, and in her roles here, we have seen her provide strong vision, leadership and caring for the comprehensive community college mission.

“She has experience in nearly all aspects of college leadership and that will be of great benefit as we continue to move forward.”

Metcalf has been at COCC for three years, overseeing the college’s non-credit instruction and the COCC campuses in Redmond, Madras and Prineville.

Last year, from February through June, she served as interim vice president for instruction following the departure of Karin Hilgersom and prior to the hiring of Charles Abasa-Nyarko.

Prior to coming to COCC, she held the positions of executive vice president for instruction and vice president for advancement at Lake Washington Technical College.

At Hawaii Community College, she served as dean of instruction (chief academic officer) and dean of outreach. Metcalf attained the rank of full professor in business and held a tenured position with the University of Hawaii System for 26 years. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Hawaii and her doctorate in education from Northern Illinois University.

The noard plans to begin a search for a permanent president in October, with the new president to begin in July 2015.

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