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Published: Friday, 3/17/2006

Northwest State leader in running for new job

Young Young

ARCHBOLD, Ohio - Northwest State Community College President Betty Young is one of five finalists for the presidency of Parkland College, a public two-year college in Champaign, Ill., that is almost four times the size of Northwest State.

Parkland trustees are to discuss filling the position Wednesday.

"This is not a done deal by any means," Ms. Young said. "There are five finalists. There is no offer."

Ms. Young, who said she does not have resumes out elsewhere, added that she was asked by Parkland leaders to apply.

"I'm happy doing what I'm doing, but this is a great opportunity, and it's nice to be recruited by a school like Parkland," she said.

Parkland has nearly 10,700 students taking courses for credit, its officials said. Of those, 43 percent are enrolled full time. An additional 1,300 students are taking a course that is not for college credit.

Parkland paid its president $225,000 for the 2004-05 academic year, according to the Illinois Community College Board.

Northwest State, which has about 3,000 students, pays Ms. Young $119,000.

Parkland is state-supported, like Northwest State, but it also has a local levy, which Northwest State does not, and that allows Parkland to offer significantly cheaper tuition. Nevertheless, Ms. Young said finances would be one of the biggest challenges of the presidency at Parkland.

She said she admired Parkland's student retention program and its leadership program for faculty and staff.

Ms. Young, 50, who lives in Napoleon, became Northwest State's fifth president in 2003.

She made headlines last year when she rode her motorcycle cross-country to see late night talk show host Jay Leno, whose jokes she said unfairly targeted community college students as being second-rate.

But Ms. Young was a target herself of no-confidence votes by college faculty and support staff.

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