Chesapeake College names four presidential finalists

WYE MILLS – The Chesapeake College Board of Trustees announced on Monday the selection of four finalists in its search for the school’s sixth president. Each candidate will be on campus to meet with faculty, staff, students and Mid-Shore community leaders in a series of forums over the next two weeks.

Following a four-month process that included public input on the qualifications, characteristics and values sought for the school’s new leader, the 14-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee chaired by Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees Nash McMahan, submitted four finalists to the Board of Trustees:

• Dr. Clifford Coppersmith, dean at City College, an embedded community college within Montana State University, Billings, Mont. He held prior administrative and academic affairs positions at: Pennsylvania College of Technology, a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University, Williamsport, Pa.; and College of Eastern Utah, Price, Utah.

• Dr. Keith Cotroneo, president at Mountwest Community and Technical College, Huntington, WVa. He held prior administrative and academic affairs positions at: Quincy College, Quincy, Mass.; Broome Community College, Binghamton, NY; Treasure Valley Community College, Ontario, Ore.; and Hagerstown Community College, Hagerstown.

• Dr. Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer at Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, Tenn. He held prior administrative and academic affairs positions at: Lone Star College-CyFair, Cypress, Texas; and Collin County Community College, McKinney, Texas.

• Dr. Lisa Rhine, provost and chief operating officer at Tidewater Community College Chesapeake Campus, Chesapeake, Va. She held prior administrative and academic affairs positions at: Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, Ky.; Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio; University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio; and Sinclair Community College, also in Dayton.

“Under Nash McMahan’s leadership, the Search Committee evaluated 72 candidates and delivered its final choices a month ahead of schedule in response to the community’s desire for an expedited process,” Board of Trustees Chair Blenda Armistead said in a prepared statement. “From our faculty, staff and student representatives to volunteers from business and academia, it was a dedicated team that committed countless hours studying the community focus group and online survey results and reviewing applications from across the country.”

Ms. Armistead said the Search Committee interviewed seven candidates last week before making its final selections.

“It’s an exceptional group of finalists with considerable experience serving in administrative and academic affairs leadership positions at community colleges, technical schools and four-year institutions,” Ms. Armistead said.

The board expects to make its final choice by mid-March and hopes to have a new president on campus by July 1.

Founded in 1965 as Maryland’s first regional community college, Chesapeake serves five Eastern Shore counties – Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot. With more than 130,000 alumnae, Chesapeake has 2,300 students and almost 10,000 people enrolled in continuing education programs.

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