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Published: Wednesday, 4/21/2010

1 finalist withdraws name for Owens president

BY CHRISTOPHER D. KIRKPATRICK
BLADE STAFF WRITER

One of three finalists for the Owens Community College president's job has accepted another top job at an undisclosed school, said John Moore, chairman of the presidential search committee.

Mr. Moore said Wednesday that Owens plans to move forward with scheduled town hall forums this month for the remaining two candidates. But finding one or more new candidates to fill out the finalists card is a possibility, he said.

Owens has scheduled a special board of trustees meeting for April 29 to hire a president, according to a copy of the meeting agenda.

The two remaining candidates are:

- Para Jones, president, Spartanburg Community College, Spartanburg, S.C.

- James Richardson, president of Wenatchee Valley College, Wenatchee, Wash.

Withdrawing was Danette Toone, vice president of Academic and Community Initiatives at Temple College, Temple, Texas. She accepted another president's job and withdrew her candidacy.

Open forums for the community, employees and students will take place April 26 and 28 from 9-10 a.m. in the College's Conference Center on the Findlay-area Campus and from 1-2 p.m. in Owens' Audio/Visual Classroom Center Rooms 125-128 on the Toledo-area Campus. The Findlay-area Campus is located Bright Road in Findlay, while the Toledo-area Campus is on Oregon Road in Perrysburg Township.

The open forums for James Richardson, President of Wenatchee Valley College in Wenatchee, Wash. is on Monday, April 26. The open forums for Para Jones, President of Spartanburg Community College in Spartanburg, S.C. is on Wednesday, April 28.

Several candidates in the pool of applicants have been on other schools' finalist lists and moving quickly to hire the best person is a priority, Mr. Moore said.

The new president faces the task of repolishing the school's tarnished image following the loss of a key accreditation for its associate's degree registered nursing program.

Owens is facing lawsuits filed by nursing students over the loss of the accreditation.

The school — which has been led by an interim president since Jan. 1 — hopes to regain its status through the recent creation of a stand-alone nursing school, a change from running the program out of its school of health sciences.

The nursing program received word in a July 27 letter from the National League for Accrediting Commission that it was denied continuing accreditation. The college had been warned earlier when it was put on an "accreditation with conditions" status in 2007 because it didn't have enough faculty members with master's degrees in nursing.

Owens didn't address the issues and the accreditation was pulled.

President Christa Adams retired, and her last day was Jan. 1. Provost Paul Unger, who had been at Owens for 18 years and was provost the last seven, announced his retirement for the same day.

Larry McDougle, former president of Northwest State Community College in Archbold, took over as interim president.



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