Coastal Bend College Board of Trustees hosted Dr. Karen Bleeker, former President of the Community College of Denver in Denver, Colo. on March 6. The daylong visit included interviews for the position of college president for Coastal Bend College, located in Beeville, Texas, with campuses in Alice, Kingsville and Pleasanton, Texas. Bleeker is the second candidate to be interviewed of the five finalists.
“Our search for a new president of Coastal Bend College is entering a very exciting phase and the Board of Trustees invites all the members of our college community and the community we serve to play an active role as we move forward, Paul Jaure, CBC Board of Trustees Chair, said prior to the visit by Bleeker. “The Open Public Forums are a very important part of the process.”
Bleeker met with college officials, staff and faculty, and the community at large during forums throughout the day. She discussed college growth, athletics and student retention.
In Colorado, Bleeker had two early college programs giving high school students access to dual credit programs. “These students got all the advantages of going to college while still in high school,” Bleeker said. She taught dual credit and has continued to teach as a college administrator. “I love teaching. It helps me to know who the students are,” she explained.
Academic integrity was also discussed. Dr. Bleeker, author of To Be Honest: Championing Academic Integrity in Community Colleges, published in 2007, said she created the grade “XF” to indicate failure as a result of academic dishonesty on college transcripts for students caught cheating.
“There’s always a group of the usual suspects – issues common to community colleges – and communication is frequently one of them,” Bleeker said. She talked about her experiences with multi-college and multi-campus management during a forum attended by CBC employees from all campuses, acknowledging the challenges that arise. “People from other campuses don’t want to feel like dinghies on the back of the big boat – just bobbing along,” she said. She attributed success in this area to the willingness of staff and faculty to work together toward common goals.
Previously, Dr. Bleeker was Vice President of Educational Services at Temple College in Temple, Texas. Dr. Bleeker holds an Ed.D. in Educational Administration and Community College Leadership from The University of Texas at Austin, a Masters in Counseling from the University of Texas at San Antonio, a Masters in Adult Education from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, and a Bachelors in Sociology from Trinity University in San Antonio.
When asked if she was planning to make Texas her home, Bleeker said she loves Texas and is looking forward to coming home for good. “It would take an act of God or the Board to get me to go,” she quipped. “I plan to be here for a long time.”
Candidates forums held this week give the public opportunities to meet the five finalists for the position of college president. Two forums are held each day for staff, faculty, students and the community, including the media, on all campuses.
The daily schedule of Forums is as follows:
10-11 a.m.: Gertrude R. Jones Auditorium, CBC Beeville Campus
1-2 p.m.: Video Connections Available
Beeville Campus (E-112)
Alice Campus (A-205)
Kingsville Campus (K-131)
Pleasanton Campus (P-139)
Candidates will take part on the following days:
Wednesday, March 7, 2012: Dr. Beatriz Treviño Espinoza
Dr. Beatriz Espinoza serves as Vice Chancellor for Educational Planning and Services at Yuba Community College District in Marysville, Calif. Previously, Dr. Espinoza was Vice President for Workforce Learning Services at Arizona Western College in Yuma, Ariz. Dr. Espinoza holds a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Psychology and Educational Psychology and a Masters in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg
Thursday, March 8, 2012: Dr. Jimmy A. Cargill
Dr. James Cargill serves as the President of Dawson Community College in Dawson, Mont. Previously, Dr. Cargill served as Chief Academic Officer at Ashland Community and Technical College in Ashland, Ky. Dr. Cargill holds an Ed.D. in Music Education from the University of Houston, a Masters in Musicology and a Bachelors in Music Education from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.
Friday, March 9, 2012: Dr. W. David Pelham
Dr. W. David Pelham serves as Director of Higher Colleges of Technology – Fujairah in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. Previously, Dr. Pelham was President of Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Dr. Pelham holds an Ed.D in Education Leadership and Community College Administration from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, a Masters in Communications from Morehead State University in Morehead, Ky., a Bachelors in Individual Directions (Speech, Psychology, and Political Science) from Carson Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn. and an Associate of Arts in General Education from Brevard Community College in Palm Bay, Fla. Scheduled for each candidate:
Dr. Thomas Rasco served as President of Texarkana College in Texarkana. Previously, Dr. Rasco served as President of South Arkansas Community College in Eldorado, Ark. Dr. Rasco holds an Ed.D. in Educational Administration from Baylor University, Waco, a Masters in Speech Communication and Management and a Bachelors in Behavioral Science from the University of Houston, an Associate of Arts and Sciences in Nursing and an Associate of Arts and Sciences in Respiratory Therapy from Odessa College in Odessa, Texas. Rasco’s interview was on Monday.
Feedback forms will be provided to all who attend the Open Public Forums and will be collected at the end of each Forum. They will be sent under seal to the Board of Trustees for review during the evaluation of the finalist candidates.
To watch coverage of other visits, go to http://www.coastalbend.edu/presidentialsearch/.
Coastal Bend College does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.