Taking its time: KBOCC seeks new president

BARAGA — The Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College (KBOCC) is taking a deliberate approach in its presidential search process.

Former President Debra J. Parrish resigned at the end of January after almost 30 years, said KBOCC Board Chairman Robin Chosa.

Parrish left a large spot to fill. With this new task, the board is still figuring things out and determining what works.

“We’re still finalizing the process ourselves since it’s still very new to us,” said Chosa.

They recently attended a webinar to help them and other tribal members going through the same process figure out a plan and find out what they should be looking for in a candidate.

Chosa said they discussed the delicate process and the importance of hiring somebody who is eligible and knowledgeable.

They were told to take their time so they could make a good choice.

“There’s a lot to be expected of this person. We want to make sure we get the right person,” said Chosa.

The webinar instructor helped them determine qualifications and expectations for candidates. They are now looking at candidates preferably with higher levels of education.

Chosa said throughout history colleges have had presidents who didn’t have degrees, but were in the position so long it didn’t matter as much.

“Moving forward, we want better (educated candidates). … I don’t think it would behoove us to hire a president with just an associates degree,” he said.

Besides seeking someone preferably with a Ph.D. or a master’s degree with acceptable experience working in education, the board is looking for a strong, positive leader to help it achieve its mission.

“Leadership is key. We need a strong leader,” said Chosa.

The board received four applications from local tribal members. Three of those will advance to the interview process. It plans to review applications again before conducting interviews over the next few weeks.

“It would be nice if they (the new president) started before the end of the semester,” Chosa said.

He said it would be great for the new president to see how things go, see the graduating class and “get their feet wet.”