OC president selection narrowed

After a year of searching, Olympic College trustees may have found their new president.


They narrowed their search to five finalists in April and met in special executive session Tuesday, May 14, to narrow the field even more.

Trustees decided to send their hiring team to South Seattle Community College Monday, May 20, to have another talk with Dr. David Charles Mitchell, president of that campus — and one of the finalists.

Mitchell visited trustees here May 9 to interview for the job, and was given a tour of Olympic College. All five finalists toured the campus the week of May 7-13.

The trustees’ transcript for Tuesday’s meeting said “The board will determine after hearing the report of the visitation team whether a second campus visit will be required. The search process won’t be complete until the results of the visits (are presented to trustees) and state reference checks, which will be submitted to the board at the end of May, are reviewed.”

If the team decides to go with Mitchell, the new president will likely be sworn-in on or around July 1.

Mitchell was the former vice president of instruction, and associate dean for science and technology, and science and math division chair at North Seattle Community College. He holds a doctorate from the UW with a thesis on “The Interactive Effects of Student Ability, Learning Styles and Sequencing of Calculus Instruction on Student Achievement and Preference.”

Diana Van Der Ploeg has acted as interim president.

The other four finalists — who may still be in the running — include Cynthia Azari, currently vice president of instruction and former associate dean of business and technology at OC; William Richards, currently CEO, Westminster Campus, Front Range Community College, Colo.; Mark Palek, currently acting president of Spokane Falls Community College; and Paul Pai, currently provost at Decatur Campus and Rockdale Center, Georgia Perimeter College.

Former OC President Karl Jonietz, who came to the college in 1997, has relocated with his wife to their second home in Santa Fe, N.M.

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