Two years is a long time to be interim anything these days, including being interim president of Oregon Coast Community College. Interim President Bruce Koike took over the college in 2011 for the then-departing President Patrick O’Connor who had been president for well over 20 years. O’Connor now heads up Lane Community College’s technology department.
Koike is now considering whether to throw his name into the ring for becoming the college’s official president now that the college board has announced they’re looking for someone permanent.
Koike says the board has hired a consultant to explore and evaluate a list of candidates which are expected to begin rolling in during the application period, December 4th through February 14th. Koike says he expects a selection by the board sometime in late winter or early Spring.
Again Koike is mulling over whether he will apply. He says he’s proud of his role in helping the college to increase enrollment and graduate students into a fast changing world. Koike says OCCC’s nursing program remains strong as is criminal justice. The Aquarist program also remains strong with graduates having little trouble finding exciting new jobs.
Koike is also encouraged that Oregon State University is eyeing Newport as one of the sites for a new campus away from Corvallis – in this case targeted for marine sciences and oceanography. Koike said OCCC could be called upon to provide freshman and sophomore year marine science courses that would enable students to slide over from OCCC to OSU-Newport and complete their four year degree right here in Newport. OSU is currently in the processing of building a new satellite campus in Bend, OSU-Cascades.
Koike says it would be an exciting time for OCCC and for the community as it would become a center of education for one of the emerging oceanographic and marine science powerhouses on the west coast, coupled with the relocation of the NOAA Pacific Marine Operations Center to Newport.
Now back to the recruitment of a new OCCC president – the OCCC Board is holding a series of meetings with the public, seeking advice and ideas about what the board should be looking for in a permanent college president – both personal as well as intellectual qualities.
The first public forum will be held Monday, October 21st at the OCCC Campus in Lincoln City on High School Drive. Starts at 5pm.
The next three meetings will be Tuesday, October 22nd at Noon, 3pm and 5pm at the main OCCC campus in Newport. Noon for student input. 3pm for faculty and staff. And at 5pm, general public.
Then the fourth and final public meeting will be Wednesday, October 23rd, at the OCCC campus in Waldport, 3120 Crestline Drive, in Room 113, 9am.
Anyone who wasn’t able to make any of the above meeting dates and times, the college says you can participate in an online survey/questionnaire about the subject of a new president by simply going to OregonCoastCC.org. The survey will be up shortly.
For more information on any of this, call OCCC at 541-867-8532.