Open seat for new executive dean of instruction

The decision for the College’s Executive Dean of Instruction/Chief Academic Officer (CAO) position is down to four possible candidates. Although all candidate interviews are scheduled to cease by June 5, 2009, it is unlikely that a firm decision will be made prior to the last week in June.

Gaynor Hills, vice president of institutional advancement, executive director of the Bellevue College, and chair for the executive dean of instruction committee leads the committee comprised of 15 administrators, classified staff, faculty, and student representative Amanda Alva, the current ASG president. The final decision will however be made by the College’s President Jean Floten.

The Executive Dean of Instruction/CAO is a member of the presidential staff whose position entails responsibility in recruiting and maintaining a diverse faculty designed to enhance student success by maintaining pluralism through the College’s academic learning environment. In addition the Executive Dean of Instruction/CAO will work with college officials in planning, developing, and implementing policies and college-wide programs and services, as well as building and overseeing the instructional budget of the college.

Jan K. Dargel is a recipient of several teaching excellence awards, holds a juris doctorate in Law, a Master of Criminology and a Bachelor of Sociology, and has the previous experience of being VP of Academic Affairs. Additionally, she served as interim president at the college of Marin. Additionally Dargel has experience in managing $6 million dollar budgets, developing an educational strategic plan, and is currently working on a book for publication.

Thomas R. Nielsen, a current faculty member, has been serving as the interim Executive Dean of Instruction since February of 2009 at the College. In 2005 Thomas was honored as one of the College’s Living Treasures for his contributions of diversity and pluralism. In 2002, Thomas became the recipient of the Margin of Excellence award. Tom has obtained a Master of Architecture, a Bachelor of Environmental Design, and an AA from Bellevue College.

Dr. Sylvia Orr received the Administrator Distinction Award from Phi Theta Kappa in 2008, holds a doctorate in Education, a Master of Microbiology, and a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology. Since 2002 Orr has been serving as the dean of academic affairs at Estrella Mountain Community College and is the author of a variety of health, exercise, and change management papers and presentations.

Dr. Alda Preston is the recipient of multiple Presidential Leadership Awards from the National Council on Black American Affairs (NCBAA), serves on the NCBAA, and the American Association for Women in Community Colleges. Preston holds a doctorate of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in addition to a Master of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and has over 16 years experience working with credit and non-credit programs. She has also worked with at-risk youth and developed technology that helped urban students in rural campuses obtain assisted instruction.

As of Thursday, June 5, 2009 each candidate will have spent an entire day at the College meeting with various constituent groups, as well as with the screening committee and the campus community, whom have been invited to engage in informal dialogue arranged in a 45 minute question and answer format.

“The College is looking for someone with a combination of qualities… [who] understands the pedagogy best to reach students…and has a true commitment to pluralism and an understanding of what that means in higher education,” said Gaynor Hills, executive director of the College.