Owens Community College President Larry McDougle announced yesterday he will step down Sept. 30 because of his health.
Mr. McDougle, 70, suffered a heart attack over the Labor Day weekend and discovered two arteries were clogged, one nearly completely. Doctors inserted a stent, and Mr. McDougle said he considers himself lucky he made it to a hospital and doctors caught his condition early.
Mr. McDougle said he was doing all right but decided to step down after consulting with his wife, his doctor, and the college's board of trustees.
"We all agreed it would be best for me to step down and retire now rather than later," he said.
He was hired as interim president Jan. 1, 2010, when former President Christa Adams retired. The interim tag was removed in June, 2010, after a nationwide search for a permanent president. He announced in June that he intended to step down June 30, 2012, when his contract ended.
"It was a difficult decision to make," Mr. McDougle said about leaving the college. "I have enjoyed my time at Owens."
Owens' chief financial officer, John Satkowski, was appointed interim president effective Oct. 1, according to the college. The board of trustees hired a firm in June to conduct a search for the school's next permanent president. Mr. Satkowski's salary as financial officer is $158,521 and no additional compensation has been discussed to date.
As president, Mr. McDougle was paid an annual $240,000 salary. He also received a monthly housing allowance of $2,800 and the use of a Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Dee Talmage, trustees chairman, praised Mr. McDougle's work for the college and said she understood why he is stepping down.
"His positive impact on this organization will be felt for many years to come," she said in a statement released by the college. "First and foremost is the importance of President McDougle's health, and the board of trustees accepts his decision to retire at the end of September."
Mr. McDougle's initial tenure at Owens came at a time of turmoil at the college. Its top two administrators retired in January, 2010, after the school's associate's degree registered nursing program lost its accreditation with the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, in part because it did not have enough faculty members with master's degrees in nursing.
Under Mr. McDougle's presidency, a thorough review of the program was conducted, and the program has "full approval" status with the Ohio Board of Nursing, though the program does not yet have accreditation with the league.
"I believe I was able to bring an element of stability, a sense of calm, and give people a sense of feeling that things were going to be OK," Mr. McDougle said. The Napoleon resident said he and his wife will stay in the area and plan to do some traveling together and spend more time with their grandchildren.
Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6086.