It has been quite a process, but it takes time to find the right candidate to run a school. On April 30 the Ozarka College Board of Trustees will meet in special session at 9 a.m. to further discuss who will be chosen as the new Ozarka president.
On March 30 the board met and narrowed the candidates from the initial interviews for the position down to six. At that time the candidates included; Dr. Richard Dawe, Dr. Mike DeLong, Ted Hall, Dr. Scott Hamilton, Keith McClanahan and Dr. Gary Stretcher.
According to Karla Rush, who is head of the search committee at Ozarka, the board has narrowed the candidates again, this time down to three. Rush said the meeting on April 30 will not be open to the public, but if the board reaches a final decision a press release will be issued immediately following.
Dr. Gary Stretcher is included in the three still being considered. Stretcher has an educational doctorate from Texas State. He is currently the vice president for academics at Lamar State College-Port Arthur in Texas.
The second candidate is, Dr. Richard Dawe. He holds a PhD from Saint Louis University and is currently vice chancellor, planning and organizational development at Ventura County Community College District in California.
Dr. Scott Hamilton is the third person the board will consider. Hamilton is currently the dean of instruction at Eastern Idaho Technical College. He earned his educational doctorate from the University of Illinois.
During the special session April 30, Rush said the Board of Trustees will conduct interviews with each of the three candidates in the board room of the John E. Miller Education Complex at the Melbourne campus.
In December 2008, Dr. Dusty Johnston, who served as Ozarka's president for the past three years, announced that he would be leaving to become president of Vernon College in his home state of Texas. After Johnston's departure from Ozarka, Tina Wheelis was appointed as interim president until the board makes a selection for the new president.
According to Rush, the college plans to have made a selection by July 2009.