BEND, OR -- Central Oregon Community College has named its top pick for President. The COCC Board of Directors got feedback from faculty, staff, and the community, and Board Chair Laura Craska Cooper says Dr. Laurie Chesley was a nearly unanimous first choice, "It was really heartening to realize that we had three outstanding candidates, and I was told multiple times that we couldn't go wrong, no matter whom we picked. But, Dr. Chesley definitely stood out as being right for COCC, right now, because of the values that she holds and because of her personality. She just seems to be the right fit."
Craska Cooper tells KBND News, "We really did have three great candidates, but Dr. Chesley just stood out as having the right personality, values and skill set. And, she says, Dr. Chesley's priorities aligned with those of the COCC Board, as outlined in their strategic plan, "The three things that really stood out to us were her commitment to student success, her focus on financial stability, and her dedication to workforce development."
Several members of the board are expected to travel to Michigan, this week, to visit Grand Rapids Community College, where Chesley serves as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. If all goes well, they will extend a formal job offer after that campus visit, "We talked to Dr. Chesley, she's very excited about coming here," says Craska Cooper, "And we're hoping to actually complete the hire by the end of the week." Current President, Dr. Shirley Metcalf, retires in June.