3 Clark State president finalists visit

Committee narrows list of candidates to replace Karen Rafinski.

Three finalists for the presidency at Clark State will visit the campus this week to meet with staff, faculty, students and community members.

The finalists are John W. Marr, dean of academic affairs for the Eastern campus of Cuyahoga Community College in Highland Hills, Ohio; W. Michael Stoy, president of Middle Georgia College in Cochran, Ga.; and Jo Alice Blondin, chancellor of Arkansas Tech University — Ozark Campus in Van Buren, Ark.

The candidates were selected based on criteria established through discussions with Clark State stakeholders from a pool of six who were interviewed by the search committee in February, said Jim Doyle, chair of the search committee and the Clark State Board of Trustees.

“Basically, we felt that these three candidates fit that criteria the best of the six (semi-finalists),” he said.

The criteria includes experience in online learning, continuing education and community college program development, a record of service to community groups and communities and proven leadership successes.

Marr on Monday kicked off the interviews, which include meetings with retiring President Karen Rafinski, trustees, executive cabinet members, faulty and staff, students and community members, including from Greene County, where Clark State operates a second campus.

Marr has 28 years of experience in higher education and community college administration, beginning his career in higher education as an admissions counselor at Clark State Community College.

He is a graduate of Wittenberg University and Wright State University and holds a doctorate from the Ohio State University.

Blondin will be on campus for her interview Wednesday. An Indianapolis native, she is a graduate of Purdue University and holds a graduate and doctoral degree from Arizona State University.

Blondin began her career in higher education in 1996 as a project coordinator for a future faculty preparation program at Arizona State and has worked at the University of Arkansas.

Stoy, who will have his on-campus visit Friday, has 13 years of senior-level community college administration experience. He also has worked at Bismarck Community College and Darton College and Gainesvile State College in Georgia.

Stoy is a graduate of Bismarck Junior College, Thomas More College and Miami University and has a doctorate degree from North Dakota State University.

The search committee will meet Monday, March 18, to decide next steps.

“We could narrow further, we may want more time with one or two of the three, I’m not sure yet,” said Doyle. “Once the search team is comfortable with recommending a candidate that will go to the board of trustees, the board of trustees makes the ultimate decision as to who the next president will be.”

The committee and board hope to select a new president in April, Doyle said.

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