BEND, OR -- With Dr. Shirley Metcalf's retirement at the end of the school year, Central Oregon Community College continues to search for its next President. Three finalists are visiting the area for on-campus interviews. Dr. Kimberlee Messina, of California's Foothill College, was in Central Oregon earlier this week. Now it's Dr. Tod Treat, from Wanatchee Valley College, in Washington.
Dr. Treat grew up in Illinois, but says the Pacific Northwest has been his home for the last 6 years. He's intrigued by the idea of moving to the High Desert, "It's a region of the country that we've really enjoyed; we've camped here before, and there are a lot of great programs going on. There's a storied history of service to this community that's really demonstrated by the depth of the community's investment in the college, and it would just be a really wonderful opportunity to be President." He tells KBND News, "There is a sense of reverence for the position that I really appreciate, and you feel that when you interview. The idea that there's the opportunity to be an individual who can influence the future of the college the way a President can is truly humbling. I appreciate the opportunity."
Treat toured the Bend campus Thursday and visits the other three campuses Friday. He'll be in Prineville from 11:30 to noon, the Madras campus from 1-1:30 p.m. and at the Redmond campus from 2:15 to 3 p.m., in Building 3, Room 306. Treat says he's no stranger to colleges spread out with multiple campuses, after serving as Vice President for instruction at Wenatchee Valley, "I'm familiar with the necessity of getting out in the community and being visible, and I'm also very familiar with this idea that each campus has to develop its own unique characteristics to serve the community in which it happens to reside."
Next week, the third and final candidate visits all four campuses. Dr. Laurie Chesley, of Michigan, will be here February 13 and 14.