WENATCHEE — The field of candidates to be the next Wenatchee Valley College president has been whittled to four, each of whom will appear on campus next week for public events.
None of the four finalists are current WVC employees, and two are currently presidents at other colleges. The winning candidate will replace retiring President Jim Richardson, who has been on the job since 2005.
The college on Thursday announced that the four candidates under consideration are:
David Johns, president of Ferrum College in Ferrum, Virginia. Johns will visit campus on Monday.
Karin Hilgersom, president of Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. Hilgersom will visit Tuesday.
David Pelkey, vice president of student services at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia. Pelkey will visit Wednesday.
Faimous Harrison, dean of California State University-Stockton Campus in Stockton, California. Harrison visit Thursday.
Each candidate will take part in two public forums: one on the Omak campus, and one on the Wenatchee campus. The forum in Omak will be from 10 to 11 a.m. each day in the Hazel Allen Burnett Hall Room 409. Forums at the Wenatchee campus will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Wells Hall Campus Theater. Members of the public can also attend via Zoom.
According to WVC’s announcement, the candidates will give a 15-minute presentation on how rural colleges benefit economic environments and their local workforces. Candidates will also participate in a question-and-answer session.
According to the candidate biographies on WVC’s presidential search page:
Johns is a graduate of Malone University, earned his master’s degree at the Earlham School of Religion, and has a master’s of library sciences from Kent State University and a Ph.D. from Duquesne University.
Harrison has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Washington, a masters's degree in physical education, pedagogy, and leadership from Seattle Pacific University, and a Ph.D. in higher education administration and leadership from Oregon State University.
Hilgersom has a master’s degree in rhetoric and communication and a doctorate in educational policy and management, both earned at the University of Oregon. Her bachelor’s degree is not listed in her biography.
Pelkey’s educational history is not included in his biography, though it says he has over 25 years of experience in higher education, including “executive-level roles at South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) and Renton Technical College (RTC).”
Following the finalist visits, WVC's board of trustees plans to announce WVC’s next president during the week of Nov. 7.
The announcement will conclude a process that began when Richardson announced his planned retirement in January.
In February, the search committee of trustees, faculty members, tribal representation and college administrators hired Academic Search Inc. to assist with the search. In March, WVC’s board of trustees extended Richardson’s contract through Dec. 31. The contract will end earlier if a new president begins before that date.
The new president will be the 13th person to hold the role since the college opened in 1939.
A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Johns' degree from Kent State University was a master's of legal studies.
Discuss the news on NABUR, a place to have local conversations The Neighborhood Alliance for Better Understanding and Respect ✔ A site just for our local community ✔ Focused on facts, not misinformation ✔ Free for everyone