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News » Local News

New COCC President Officially Announced

The board of directors voted on Tuesday to approve the hiring of Dr. Laurie Chesley

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Starting on July 1, Dr. Laurie Chesley will begin her tenure as the next president of Central Oregon Community College, following Dr. Shirley Metcalf who held the role since 2014.

Chesley's hiring will mark just the sixth president to serve at COCC in its 70 years as a college.

Dr. Laurie Chesley - COURTESY OF CENTRAL OREGON COMMUNITY COLLEGE
  • Courtesy of Central Oregon Community College
  • Dr. Laurie Chesley
“We are thrilled to be welcoming Dr. Chesley to Central Oregon and to this college,” said Laura Craska Cooper, chair of the COCC board of directors in a press release. “We were so impressed with her passion for the mission of community colleges and our role of promoting student success and community workforce development.”



Chesley is currently the executive vice president for academic and student affairs at Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan and has held that position since 2015. She previously spent five years teaching at Northwest Michigan College, as well as other administrative duties including dean of humanities at Montgomery Court Community College, assistant vice president for academic affairs at Ferris State University, associate dean and dean of arts and sciences at Grand Rapids Community College and interim dean at Northwest Michigan College.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as president of Central Oregon Community College,” Chesley said in the release. “It is exciting for me to be moving to an area that is so beautiful, so welcoming and, most importantly, so supportive of its community college."

Chesley was one of three candidates who received an interview for the opening at president. Following the interview a group from COCC went to Grand Rapids Community College to meet with the faculty there, as Chesley stood out as the top candidate for the position.

“I approach this challenge with humility, knowing the great work that has already been done by Dr. Metcalf, the board of directors, and the faculty and staff, both past and present,” Chesley continued in the press release. “COCC has a great history and I look forward to being part of its future.”

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Isaac Biehl

Isaac is living proof that "Iowa Nice" is actually a thing. A journalism graduate from Iowa State University, he regularly writes about music, the outdoors and the arts/culture scene. Isaac loves the Trail Blazers, backpacking and a good IPA. He plans to one day win Survivor. Your move, Jeff Probst...

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