When former Oregon Coast Community College President Patrick O’Connor abruptly announced his resignation after 21 years with the college, his stunned fan club (which is extensive) took a while to recover from the announcement. They all wondered what was next for O’Connor. Well, the wondering can stop. He’s taken a top job at Lane Community College in Eugene, an institution with about 40,000 students.
O’Connor has been appointed as the new Division Dean of Advanced Technologies which he was offered because, as the Lane Community College news release stated, “Pat brings extensive experience with facilities and successful collaborations with business and industry He is passionate about workforce and career technical education.” The announcement gave no indication that his new job will entail 50 to 70 hour work weeks, which he remarked at his leaving OCCC, he would not miss.
Lane Community College President Executive Assistant Tracy Simms says Advanced Technologies is one of the divisional powerhouses of the college which includes everything from aviation mechanics and maintenance to electronics, carpentry and drafting. One area that would peak O’Connor’s interest is that Lane Community College has a very strong transitional high school enrollment program that allows high school students to take college level courses in advanced technologies since those programs have been largely gutted at the high school level in light of massive budgets.
O’Connor is viewed as the Godfather of Oregon Coast Community College in that he pioneered three new campuses in Lincoln County out of what was a scattering of classroom locations up and down the coast. He also helped to create a small business development program, Aquarium Sciences program, strong criminal justice and nursing programs, centered mainly at the Newport Campus, as well as substantial general education course offerings that are transferrable to Oregon’s regular colleges and universities.