Public invited to attend forums with candidates to replace Debra Derr, who retires this summer

(From Left) Lisa Avery, Utpal Goswami, Paul Jarrell, Krista Johns and Lisa Skari

The Mt. Hood Community College Board of Education has narrowed down its list to five finalists in the search for a replacement of retiring president Dr. Debra Derr.

Derr announced in June 2017 that her last day at MHCC would be June 30, 2018, leading to a nationwide search for her replacement.

"We recruited a highly competitive and strong pool of candidates from throughout the state, region and nation," said Tami Arnold, Board of Education chairwoman. "The accomplishments and dedication by staff toward providing a quality education were instrumental in attracting highly competitive candidates."

Each finalist will participate in an open forum at the college. The public is invited and encouraged to attend these gatherings.

The forums will consist of a brief introduction of each candidate, followed by a question-and-answer session. Feedback forms will be provided to all who attend, and the completed forms will be collected at the end of each forum and given to the Board of Education for review.

THE FINALISTS (listed in alphabetical order)

Lisa Avery, Ph.D., is the president of Portland Community College, Sylvania campus. Avery was the vice provost of Community Colleges of Spokane, Wash. She earned a doctorate in social work and a master's degree in social work from the University of Illinois, Chicago; and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Ball State University, Ind.

Utpal K. Goswami, Ph.D., is the president of Metropolitan Community College, Mo. He was vice president of instruction at College of the Redwoods, Calif. Goswami earned a doctorate in economics and a master's degree in economics from Southern Methodist University, Texas; and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Delhi, India.

Paul Jarrell, Ph.D., is the vice president-assistant superintendent at Santa Barbara City College, Calif. He was the dean of instructional support at Pasadena City College, Calif. He earned a doctorate in biology from the University of Oregon; completed graduate coursework in quantitative biology, ecology and genetics from the University of Illinois, Chicago; and a bachelor's degree in biology from Ohio University.

Krista Johns, J.D., is the vice chancellor of educational services and student success at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District, Calif. Previously, she was the interim president of Berkeley City College, Peralta Community College District, Calif. She earned a juris doctorate from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Ill., and a bachelor's degree in political science from University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Lisa Skari, Ed.D., is the vice president for institutional advancement at Highline College, Wash. She was the executive director for institutional advancement at Highline. Skari earned a doctorate from Washington State University; a master's degree in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University, Wash., and a bachelor's degree from Washington State University.


All five forums are from 2-3 p.m. in the Visual Arts Theatre on the Mt. Hood Community College Campus, 26000 S.E. Stark St., Gresham. 26000 SE Stark Street

• Utpal K. Goswami, Monday, March 12

• Paul Jarrell, Tuesday, March 13

• Lisa Skari, Wednesday, March 14

• Krista Johns, Thursday, March 15

• Lisa Avery, Friday, March 16

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