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Oregon Higher Education Oral Histories Collection, 2019-2020View associated digital content.

The Oregon Higher Education Oral Histories Collection contains the interviews of 43 individuals sharing the histories and their experiences of 16 of the 17 community colleges in Oregon including Blue Mountain Community College, Central Oregon Community College, Chemeketa Community College, Clackamas Community College, Clatsop Community College, Columbia Gorge Community College, Klamath Community College, Lane Community College, Linn-Benton Community College, Oregon Coast Community College, Portland Community College, Rogue Community College, Southwestern Oregon Community College, Tillamook Bay Community College, Treasure Valley Community College, and Umpqua Community College. All of the interviews are available online.
ID: OH 046
Extent: 28.0 gigabytes
More Extent Information
Scope and Content Notes
Biographical / Historical Notes
Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.
Preferred Citation: Oregon Higher Education Oral Histories Collection (OH 046), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.
Acquisition Note: Interview files were donated to SCARC by the interviewers' professors in winter term 2019, winter term 2020, and fall term 2020.
Acquired: 2019. Additions to the collection are expected.
Languages of Materials

Container List

Series 1: Blue Mountain Community College, 2019 Add to Shelf
The series contains 3 interviews.
Digital File 1: Tim Mabry, February 16, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:38:25) Mabry explains his connections to Blue Mountain Community College (BMCC) including attending BMCC as a student 1970-1972, serving as the student body President, being elected to Board of Directors for 8 years, and serving on the College Foundation, also for 8 years. He shares his understanding of the founding of the college: the local leaders wanted a local post-secondary educational intuition and the college was initially set up to support communities of Umatilla and Morrow Counties. He also shares that BMCC started as a vocational and technical school, and it officially opened July 1, 1962. Mabry shares more information about the BMCC’s history including that: there was no opposition to the establishment of the college, but there was to the location; the factors that have shaped the institution are primarily social which focused the college on providing programs that supported the local industries; and community engagement with the college was very good over the years. He explains that there were connections with the local tribes, but they were not formal in the early years. Mabry discusses the events that greatly influenced and shaped the college including the change, growth, and expansion of the college over time, in particular, expansions of other locations of the college. He reflects on the proudest moments of the BMCC, specifically the large number of graduates the college has each year, and he shares that he could not think of any failures. He expresses that the funding of the college started completely with local funds, there was no state funds, and that the first President, Wally McCrae, was important to getting the college established. He notes other important people to the college in the early years including Mike Kilian, Orie Elle, Bret Horn, Joe Green, and Russ Dorn. To conclude, he expresses that he expects that the BMCC will have a strong future based on its relationship with the community. [Interview is available online.]
Digital File 2: Camille Preus, February 21, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:43:26) Preus was the Blue Mountain Community College (BMCC) president for 5 ½ years from July 2013-November 2018. Preus describes the founding of the college with activity starting in 1959 to meet community needs, and she explains that there was no state funding available. The BMCC started with vocational training at the High School in Pendleton; the city of Pendleton was selected because it was the area with the largest population in Umatilla County. Preus explains that land came from the state and the land returns to the state if BMCC is closed. She shares that there was little to no opposition to the college opening as a community need was recognized, and the shift from vocational to transfer has been something that has changed the college overtime. She continues on to share more of the BMCC’s history including that the first president was hired from out of state, was focused on liberal arts, and hired faculty from out of state, which shifted some of program focus. She also expresses that even though Pendleton is a very rural community with a very white population, the BMCC also worked with the local indigenous population. She signed an MOU in 2016 with the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation. Preus explains that the BMCC mission has changed over time but she believes that one of the important aspects was access, and it is still important to the mission now. She shares that the college originally opened to support vocational and technical education, and that there were many Adult Basic Education courses, but the focus of the college has shifted toward more transfer programs over time. She shares that the ongoing success of the college and expansion to other areas in eastern Oregon has been important in shaping the institution overtime. She also shares that the BMCC has worked as part of the community, with examples including a radio program in the early years and the farm growing pumpkins at Halloween. Preus discusses the BMCC’s funding over the years: the college was historically funded through local property taxes, but that has shifted to put more costs on the state and with tuition. She explains that current support includes 25% property tax, 25% state support, and 50% tuition. Preus shares her expectations of the future of the BMCC, including the hope for a new president that will help them innovate for the future. [Interview is available online.]
Digital File 3: Tammie Parker, February 22, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:29:22) Parker shares that she has worked at Blue Mountain Community College (BMCC) for the last 30 years. She explains that the college was founded after the war, was started in the local high school, and that the location was selected on hill overlooking the city, specifically a large plot of land that would let the school expand. She also shares that there was no opposition to establishing the institution. Parker expresses that the very rural location shaped the intuition, as it was very isolated, and that the college’s focus was on local community needs and working closely with industry partners. She shares that BMCC developed an MOU with the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation, has worked on educational partnerships with the tribal community, and that there is a liaison between the Tribes and BMCC; the position is paid by both organizations. She shares that the BMCC also works with the large Hispanic population in Boardman; the college is considered a Hispanic Serving Institution. Parker expresses that the BMCC mission has not changed a lot overtime; she believes it started with a focus on community and students, and the current mission is similar. She explains that while the college has more transfer students than in the past, the vocational and technical pieces are still important to the community. Parker reflects on the successes of the college, including the ongoing growth and continued financial support of projects over the years. She also expresses that the college has only had six presidents since its founding, which she feels is a strength, showing the stability of the organization. Parker explains that while there have been shifts in finances over time, the BMCC has been successful. She explains that bond projects have been very successful, but over the years, the BMCC has had to increase tuition costs because of declining state funds. Parker shares that the college has a good future as it is innovative in its programs, uses lean processes to continually improve programs, and continues to work with the community to develop programs that meet new needs. [Interview is available online.]
Series 2: Central Oregon Community College, 2019 Add to Shelf
This series contains 3 interviews.
Digital File 1: James Crowell, February 8, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:39:37) Crowell gives a detailed firsthand account of the student experience during the earliest years of Central Oregon Community College (COCC). He shares what it was like taking history courses as a college student in the same classroom he had one year earlier taken history as a high school student. Crowell explains many details regarding the original need for the college and the circumstances that led to its founding. Crowell also provides an account of Don Pence, the college’s first president, as well as the faculty and budget concerns that led to his resignation. Crowell shares his perspectives as a faculty member during this period of history and his thoughts on why and how the college grew to be what it is today. He speaks to the relative isolation of Bend and how the changing economy called for a college option close to home for Bend residents. [Interviewed by Leah Arambel and Eric Scott. Interview is available online.]
Digital File 2: Ron Paradis, February 8, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:30:27) Paradis provides a deep examination of the circumstances, leaders, and community reactions surrounding the initial founding and subsequence development and expansion of Central Oregon Community College (COCC). He shares significant information about Don Pence, the college’s first president, including the success and growth the college experienced under his leadership and the difficult political circumstances surrounding his ultimate resignation from the institution. Paradis reflects upon many historical moments throughout the history of COCC and provides insight on how and why various decisions were made over the years. [Interviewed by Leah Arambel and Eric Scott. Interview is available online.]
Digital File 3: Shirley Metcalf, February 18, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:33:31) Metcalf shares the general history of Central Oregon Community College (COCC). She provides context on more recent developments in the college’s history, including structural changes and how the college has responded to the introduction of Oregon State University’s Cascades Campus within the higher education environment in Bend. Metcalf shares her perspective on the development of COCC over time, expressing how the community, state, and national development of community colleges has shaped COCC, as well as the ways in which COCC has stood out as unique in that time. Metcalf further expresses her perspectives on the future of COCC and the particular nuances that will be important for her successor. [Interviewed by Leah Arambel and Eric Scott. Interview is available online.]
Series 3: Chemeketa Community College, 2019 Add to Shelf
This series contains 2 interviews.
Digital File 1: Jim Eustrom, February 6, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:34:20) Eustrom shares the early history of Chemeketa Community College (CCC). He expands on the history by exploring his understanding of the early mission of the college, as well as the demographics, politics, cultures, and industries prevalent in and around the communities of Salem, Oregon. Eustrom then discusses the instructional mix, program offerings, and students currently served by the CCC. He describes several current financial programs designed to support students and how the programs have increased opportunities for the changing demographics of Chemeketa’s students. He explores various aspects of CCC’s engagement with its community over time, and reflects on the college’s emphasis on serving students “as they come.” Eustrom explains the shifting student demographics and the college’s attention on closing gaps in student attainment. He describes several events and individuals instrumental in the development and advancement of the college. Eustrom reflects on the role of the community in Chemeketa’s focus and direction past, present, and future. [Interviewed by David Larsen. Interview is available online.]
Digital File 2: Jill Ward, February 8, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:40:32) Ward talks about the early history of Chemeketa Community College (CCC), specifically the history of the college’s early mission, course offerings, and instructional mix. She reflects on the early founders of the college, including Paul Wilmeth (the college’s first president), and the way President Wilmeth conducted himself in the role. Ward describes her recollections of political and economic factors that influenced the history and trajectory of Chemeketa. She discusses the college’s commitment to mission fulfillment and how it has changed over time to reflect the needs of the communities served by Chemeketa, as well as how fluctuations in available funding has influenced the college’s ability to support student success. Ward describes how the college was named and the college’s relationship with Native American (and other) communities. She also describes significant events that have shaped Chemeketa’s development and direction, including its emphasis on relationships and serving underrepresented student populations, local businesses and industry, and the communities. Ward discusses the successes of Chemeketa over its history, including details about key leaders of the college. She reflects on the culture of the CCC and its commitment to student success. [Interviewed by David Larsen. Interview is available online.]
Series 4: Clackamas Community College, 2020 Add to Shelf
This series contains 3 interviews.
Digital File 1: Lori Hall, October 8, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:24:05) Hall explains her connection to Clackamas Community College (CCC), where she serves as the executive director of College Relations and Marketing and the campus’s public information officer for the past five years. Hall explains that in 1962, the citizens of Clackamas County formed a committee to promote establishing a community college and after four years of planning, a vote was cast and 62% of the community voted to open the school. She shares that initially classes were held in a local high school before moving into modular trailers. Hall shares that the story goes that after a raging storm one night, the president at the time decided it was time for a permanent building. She shares that in order to gain continued funding and support, the college has had to always stay on the edge of technology and changing needs of the workforce. Hall shares that in addition to maintain a good relationship with the local confederate Native American tribe, there is also a large Russian population in the county with whom the college is trying to connect. She discusses the partnerships the institution has with local industry leaders to ensure they are still serving the needs of the local community. She also shares how the band Metallica has assisted in the funding of the institution. Hill closes out the interview talking about their current strategic planning process and how Covid-19 might impact the future of the college. [Interview is available online.]
Digital File 2: Tim Cook, October 14, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:23:35) Tim Cook has been president of Clackamas Community College for 3 years. Cook explains how Clackamas Community College was founded in 1966 through a partnership with K-12 school district as well as partnerships with other leaders in the county. He shares the land where college stands was donated and gifted by various entities. He further describes choosing the homeplace of Clackamas Community College was a political process as other interests wanted the college in different cities and/or areas. According to Cook, the first several years were challenging for the college. Every year, the college needed a funding measure approved to continue operating the following year. College administrators devoted a lot of time into lobbying county and towns people to approve bonds that would secure another year for the college. Cook listed the superintendent of K-12 school district and the mayor of Oregon City as influential in the college’s founding. He shares the origin of the college’s name and tells how the college was named after the Clackamas tribe. He further describes a current project for the college of building welcome center and its desire to name it after the Clackamas Chief as the connection to the Clackamas tribe is an important part of the college’s history. Cook describes the college’s mission is to serve the community. When speaking about funding sources for the college, Cook shares it comes from state taxes, local taxes and tuition. He discusses a shift in 1990s where a tax measure limited local property taxes and state property taxes that impacted the college. Due to this change tuition increased to meet the need, thereby passing the burden onto the students. Cook expresses the college has always been known for offering career technical education and its intent to serve the community. Cook shares the college approved its first ever equity and inclusion plan last spring. He expresses the college is young in this respect: equity and inclusion work. When describing the college’s wins, Cook lists feeling fortunate the community sees Clackamas Community College as their resource, their beautiful performance arts center that is used by a professional theater company in the summer and nursing and health care programs being known beyond the community. President Cook identified diversity and the students that are missing from the student population as a failure of the college. He shares the college is working on increasing the number of faculty of color on campus to better represent the student population, increase the level of professional development for faculty and staff around issues of privilege and equity and increase completion and recruitment of non-dominant students on campus. He describes the college’s opportunities to rethink online education and integration of face to face and online and how that will look in the future. He shares the college is partnering with a local free clinic by providing space on campus to provide healthcare for the community, is investigating affordable housing on campus, not limited to only students, and the possibility of a day program or housing for senior citizens to blend with the college’s geriatric program. [Interview is available online.]
Digital File 3: John Keyser, October 20, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:46:02) Dr. John Keyser provides a historical perspective of Clackamas Community College (CCC) based on his 16 years as College President, time served on the CCC Board of Directors and information learned through his efforts in authoring Transforming Lives, the History of Clackamas Community College. In this interview, Dr. Keyser reflects on the history, leadership, and institutional and economic development of CCC. His experiences allow for a unique perspective and demonstrate an adoration for the College, Clackamas County and the many people who have supported the College’s efforts. To conclude, he shares some of how he was successful as a college leader. [Interview is available online.]
Series 5: Clatsop Community College, 2020 Add to Shelf
This series contains 2 interviews.
Digital File 1: Chris Breitmeyer, October 15, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:26:15) Breitmeyer begins by briefly discussing the founding of the institution and interest by the community for higher education. Community members came together, including Mr. Tollar, who donated land for the college site. Clatsop Community College is on the old high school site in Astoria, Oregon. The two original buildings were Tollar Hall and Patriot Hall. Tollar Hall remains the primary building for instruction, and President Breitmeyer recently moved his office into the building. He shared that residents of Astoria refer to Clatsop College as "Harvard on the Hill." He mentioned that Clatsop Community College was the first community college in Oregon. President Breitmeyer discussed the role of Geri Swenson and her support for the college as not only a faculty member but also as a foundation board member for over 50 years. The unique offerings of the Maritime program and the Historic Preservation program draw students to the college. Breitmeyer cites that the college's mission has always centered on the goal of offering affordable and accessible education that enriches the community. Throughout the interview, he discussed how interwoven the college is within the community. He discussed how funding for the college has evolved from originally being primarily state support to increased local and community financial support. He shared that the college also receives timber revenue, the amount varying per year, typically $1-1.5 million. President Breitmeyer discussed the evolution of the student population focus of study, moving primarily to Career Technical Education. (CTE), with approximately 51% of students in these programs. A focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion has been a part of the campus for many years to serve all campus populations and remains a priority. President Breitmeyer concludes by discussing the college's future focus and challenges while serving the community best. [Interview is available online.]
Digital File 2: Gerry Swenson, October 28, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:53:40) Swenson begins by describing how Dick Boss founded Clatsop Community College, first within the former Astoria High School and then with just two buildings, Tollar and Patriot Halls. Students needed a school to attend close by, and Astoria offers a picturesque location with a view of the nearby bridge span. Initial programs were vocational and included Automotive, Livestock, Fishing, and Forestry. Liberal Arts courses were added over time, and the Nursing program now has an impressive reputation and positive relationships with major hospitals. While the community was indeed supportive, she cites challenges as the initial campus was built on a hillside and lacked an elevator. Swenson taught mathematics and reflects on positive memories as an instructor and advisor at the college. Throughout her interview, Swenson references the Scandinavian roots within Astoria and how that has impacted the community's ability to boast about the college's good work. She believes that the college today should be proud of the new MERTS (Marine and Environmental Research and Training Station) campus due to its technology-based programs and the Coast Guard certifications. To close, Swenson describes her experiences serving on the Foundation and organizing philanthropic events and ventures like annual Art Auctions, scholarships, and special appeals. While 2020 has been challenging, Swenson is proud of how the community has come together to address student needs.  [Interview is available online.]
Series 6: Columbia Gorge Community College, 2020 Add to Shelf
This series contains 1 interview.
Digital File 1: Dan Spatz, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:52:59) Columbia Gorge Community College is located in the heart of Gorge, a halfway point between Portland Metropolitan, the most populated area in Oregon and rural Eastern Oregon, the least populated. Ancient glaciers carved out the region and is now home to the second largest river.  Including indigenous communities human habitation has been a part of the region for more than 15,000 years. The Dalles is the largest community in Wasco County and Agriculture, cherry production, is the largest industry. Columbia Gorge Community College was built for and by the community. In 1975 there were limited options for higher education, many students had to drive 2/3 hour radius to reach the closest community college. Wintertime added an additional barrier with dangerous driving conditions. A community initiative created an Education Service District, to bring education support to the region.  In the 1970’s ESD’s required special dispensation from Oregon state funding and ‘The Wasco Area Education Service District’ or ‘Treaty Oak’ was established to serve post high school education. The name ‘Treaty Oak’ came from the story of where a treaty was signed in 1855 under an oak tree in The Dalles that lived until 1950. A piece was preserved from the tree and a local artist carved the history of CGCC and is displayed today in the community.  In 1979 Columbia Gorge Community College the name was adopted. They served place bound students in the region who were in the Timber, Aluminum, and Agriculture industry.  Although the original intention was to serve the community of The Dalles, students began to attend CGCC from all over the region, including close communities from Washington that borders the river. They are the first best local opportunity for many students who live in an education desert. The former presidents have played a vital role in the sustainability and growth of the community college.  Throughout its history it has only had 3 presidents, each playing a critical role in the expansion. Dr. Bell grew the community college from a downtown single building location to the current location overlooking the river. Through a community effort they identified an old bible college campus, previously it was a tuberculosis hospital in the 1920’s. In 2001 Dr. Toda expanded the college into Hood River with a permanent location that once was providing limited service to another region in need of education opportunities. In 2004 they were the first in Oregon to use simulation in the nursing program. Dr. Susan Wolff who was the Vice President of Instruction noticed wind towers coming up throughout the area. Her efforts in building a partnership with these companies and a partnership with the US Department of Labor provided funding for the first renewable energy technology tech program in the west coast in 2006. Today students from all over the US attend CGCC for this program. Today Columbia Gorge Community College continues to keep its original missions of ‘serving the community first’. They are one of the few Hispanic Serving Institutions in Oregon and the current president is focusing efforts on serving the diverse student population. They are providing relevant education for the future to prepare place bound students, with affordability at the forefront. They have overcome and found creative solutions for growth and impact. Today there are still students who need to drive 2/3 to get to CGCC and local broadband limits are creating a digital divide. By 2021 they hope to open an affordable residence hall facility. [Interview is available online.]
Series 7: Klamath Community College, 2020 Add to Shelf
This series contains 3 interviews with 4 interviewees.
Digital File 1: Bill Jennings, February 11, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:40:29) Jennings begins by introducing himself and noting that he has worked at Klamath Community College for nearly 15 years, first as a faculty member in the math department, and now as the Director of Institutional Research. Jennings provided an overview of the circumstances surrounding the founding of the college. Jennings acknowledged Bill Brown as having been particularly instrumental in the college’s founding. Jennings gives a brief explanation of getting institutional accreditation. Jennings explains how the first four years of instruction took place in a variety of locations within the Klamath community. Jennings expresses the importance of community access to KCC and the importance of meeting students where they are when they arrive at KCC. Jennings finishes by stating that the board and the college have done a great job at hiring effective leadership and staff. [Interview is available online.]
Digital File 2: Bill Brown, February 20, 2020 Add to Shelf
Brown provides a first-hand account of Klamath Community College’s founding. He describes the leadership role he held for a community action group, called Vision 2002, which worked to establish the community college. As someone who has taught at vocational courses at KCC, Oregon Institute of Technology(OIT), and the local school district, Brown offers his perspective on KCC’s relationship with the OIT, the regional school districts, the Oregon State Department of Education, and local businesses in the early days of the college. He also describes the challenges of going through the accreditation process, the college’s succession of the apprenticeship program, and some of the college’s financial challenges during his involvement with KCC. Brown finishes by sharing his hopes for the future of KCC. [Interview is available online.]
Digital File 3: Jim and Sherry Bellet, February 20, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:40:36) Jim Bellet provides an in-depth description of the founding of Klamath Community College. He describes the community effort which concluded with the passing of a vote amongst the Klamath community in 1996. Jim talks about the initial concern with a community college conflicting with Oregon Institute of Technology. As a founding board member, Jim explains the process in developing a young college, what it took to purchase a permanent location, its engagement with the community, diversity and equity issues, and the growth the college has experienced in recent years. Sherry Bellet, Jim’s wife, offers her perspective. Sherry, who was on the KCC Foundation board with Jim, finishes by sharing her thoughts on the foundation’s role in providing financial support for the college. [Interview is available online.]
Series 8: Lane Community College, 2019 Add to Shelf
The series contains 3 interviews.
Digital File 1: Jim Garcia, February 7, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:36:40) Garcia discusses the legacy of a lack of diversity at Lane Community College, and the work done by Connie Mesquita in the 1980s to create connections with the Latino community. He describes work done by Lane’s Diversity Team in the 1990s, and their efforts to create a welcoming environment. Garcia shares his philosophy of “hidden stories,” and how we need to work to understand each person’s individual story rather than assuming we know what their story is. He describes how he uses this philosophy in diversity training, and how the culture of Lane has been changing. [Interviewed by Linda Crook and Phillip Mitchell. Interview is available online.]
Digital File 2: Mark Harris, February 7, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:38:03) Harris describes the development of the Eugene Vocational School and how it connects to the history of racism in Eugene. He talks about Dr. William Powell, the longest serving Black employee at Lane, and the creation and destruction of Lane’s Ethnic Studies program in the early 1970s before its resurrection in 1999. He discusses the Black American Staff, Faculty and Employees (BASE) organization at Lane, and the BASE files, which document the history of racial tension at Lane. He describes the role of Affirmative Action Officer Donna Albro in bringing Lane’s hiring practices into federal compliance. He talks about the advantages of hiring more diverse employees, and not just as it relates to race; he suggests “HBCUs for White people.” [Interviewed by Linda Crook and Phillip Mitchell. Interview is available online.]
Digital File 3: Michael Sámano, February 13, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:21:15) Sámano begins with an overview of his affiliations with Lane, mentioning his family’s involvement at Lane since 1962. He discusses the relation between Career/Technical Education and the transfer program at Lane, going back to Lane’s history as the Eugene Vocational School. He provides a timeline of the history of Ethnic Studies at Lane, from its early founding to its elimination in the mid-1970s, to its recreation with his return to Lane in 1999, including the contributions made by Connie Mesquita and Dr. William Powell. He discusses the changing culture of diversity at Lane. [Interviewed by Linda Crook and Phillip Mitchell. Interview is available online.]
Series 9: Linn-Benton Community College, 2019 Add to Shelf
The series contains 3 interviews.
Digital File 1: Russell Tripp, February 13, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:19:47) Tripp shares some of the historical context and shaping of the Linn-Benton Community College; he was the first board member for the college. He explains how the local Chamber of Commerce played a vital role in making the college a reality. As part of the development of the college, Tripp explains the funding and collaborative work they had to do with the state. Russell briefly shares how they engaged with the local communities and how they selected the sites for the college. He further explains how Linn-Benton was first created with the idea of being a trade school with political influences but how it has now blossomed into a more robust and well-rounded institution. He expresses that for the future he would want to see new ideas in order to reshape the learning experience. Finally, he shares how the college enrollment has had a correlation with the local industry and economics. [Interviewed by Christina Horst and José Rocha. Interview is available online.]
Digital File 2: Greg Hamann, February 14, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:28:20) Hamann speaks on the changes at Linn-Benton Community College; he shares some of the changes the college has experienced in the past 10 years since he has been there. Most recently, with the adjustments in Guided Pathways and how that will naturally shift the campus culture from student interested to student centered. In addition, he shares some of the economic reality and the impact on communities. Hamann continues by sharing the political diversity between two counties and the different sides of the spectrum in their views and decisions. With his leadership, he brings together a group of LBCC members of the campus community to shape the Wild Thinkers Forum, or WTF. The group came together to create the campus mission statement. He also shares the campus funding model. To conclude, he shares his vision for the campus and the needed change in our educational system. [Interviewed by Christina Horst and José Rocha. Interview is available online.]
Digital File 3: Bob Ross, February 14, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:44:21) Ross discusses his experiences as the first full time faculty member for Linn-Benton Community College and some of the growth he has seen over the decades. He explains how uncertain things were when the college first opened. He provides examples of some of the challenges such as how many books to order, how many microscopes they would need, and where his courses would be held. He speaks on the evolution of teaching and how the classroom experience has changed from chalkboards to using technology as a learning tools. He also shares his thoughts on how students would interact with each other during classroom breaks. He speaks about how they would all gather outside, smoke cigarettes, and converse. Today, he said when students take a break, they go outside and all sit on their phones without speaking to anyone near them. He closes out his interview with how as a teacher, 50 years later, he is still learning new things every day and is still on a quest for social justice and equality. [Interviewed by Christina Horst and José Rocha. Interview is available online.]
Series 10: Oregon Coast Community College, 2020 Add to Shelf
This series contains 2 interviews.
Digital File 1: Sandy Roumagoux, October 28, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:59:41) Roumagoux describes the founding of Oregon Coast Community College, starting with the Colleges without Walls program. The classes were held in various locations within the town and the county as there were no formal classrooms nor a campus. Sandra recounts fondly one of the rental buildings was the location of an old bar in Newport. Early on in the planning for a campus, the college was met with resistance from the residence of the county. Locals voted down the necessary tax levy to build the campus twice. Sandra credits Will Emery and his family for helping the college by providing 25 acres of land for the future site of the campus. Will Emery and Bonnie Serkin sold the land to the College while also deciding to develop the land around the college for a planned community called Wilder. It was thanks to this land opportunity that the town was able to pass a 3.5 million dollar bond for the development of the campus. Sandra continues to talk about the college’s contribution to the community, detailing the partnerships between the fishing industry, the Hatfield Science Center, and the Visual Arts Center. Roumagoux explains that the original vision of OCCC was to be a technical college for local industries, more specifically to provide an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). Roumagoux is most proud of how welcoming the culture of the college is for women, especially mothers. Additionally, Roumagoux is very proud of the independent accreditation that the college received in 2020. Sandra recounts how the current president, Dr. Birgitte Ryslinge was hired specifically to guide OCCC towards independent accreditation. Future goals for the college include to fulfil the duties of being an independent college and doing more outreach for Latinx students and students from native tribes. Additionally, the college is working towards a bond to start an automotive tech program. [Interview is available online.]
Digital File 2: Birgitte Ryslinge, November 10, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:57:58) Ryslinge provides an overview of Oregon Coast Community College today and describes the history and development of the college in four phases: 1) The founding of the college; 2) Securing sustainable funding sources; 3) Obtaining permanent facilities; and 4) Earning accreditation as an independent college. She shared how the college was created by a “small group of community leaders committed to the ‘audacious’ idea that Lincoln County deserved its own community college” and how it took some time to create the board of education, establish the local property tax district, and secure state formula funding. Founded in 1987, the college operated out of rented facilities until it passed a bond measure and completed construction on its own buildings in 2008. During this time, OCCC had operated without its own accreditation, instead contracting with other accredited Oregon community colleges for critical academic and financial systems and oversight. After an intense, multi-year reporting and review process, OCCC received independent accreditation in February 2020 and awarded its first OCCC diploma in summer 2020. Ryslinge also describes some of the current and future issues the college faces, including 1) doing the work required to be an independent college, such as preparing to award financial aid and work-study funding; 2) preparing for a more diverse student body through outreach to Latinx and Native American organizations/schools and recruiting more diversity faculty; 3) addressing the gender disparity among students (enrollment is 70 percent female) by diversifying the career-technical programs offered; 4) planning future facilities to include marine studies, construction, and emergency response; and 5) implementing the Career Pathways program. Finally she notes the profound connections among the rural economy, small business and community college at OCCC, saying “I’ve never more solidly felt the ‘community’ in community college than I have in the 6 years I’ve been here.” [Interview available online.]
Series 11: Portland Community College, 2019 Add to Shelf
This series contains 3 interviews.
Digital File 1: Kendra Cawley, February 14, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:43:38) Cawley reflects on her over two decades at Portland Community College and emphasizes the college’s mission in serving students, supporting student success, and providing economic stability and support to the local and surrounding community. She shares her experience having the opportunity to start a department and program that ultimately was closed and then had the opportunity to start the program again. The importance of diversity within the campus community was highlighted and she explains how this has shaped the programs offered by the college. One example of how the college has responded to the needs of the diverse community it serves is the creation of English as a Second Language programs across the system in order to provide critical and essential skills to the community. This, according to Cawley, is reflective of the college’s ability to be flexible and nimble in order to respond to the current needs of the students and the community. [Interviewed by Arlyn Palomo and Anthony Garrison. Interview available online.]
Digital File 2: Craig Londraville, February 14, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:24:18) Londraville describes the various student services that the Portland Community College (PCC) Rock Creek campus offers; services including an undocumented student center, a queer resource center, a center for student parents, veteran services, a number of student organizations, and an active student government. He talks about the value of the community and the emphasis that the faculty, staff, and students place on finding connection and creating an environment that is warm and welcoming. One example Londraville describes is that instead of building across the over 250-acre site on the Rock Creek campus, the PCC has worked to keep the campus buildings central and close by each other to create a sense of community. He expresses that this has also has allowed the Rock Creek campus to renovate and renew buildings in an effort to be sustainable. Londraville expresses his that he knows he has done well in his position if students are supported in reaching their goals. [Interviewed by Arlyn Palomo and Anthony Garrison. Interview is available online.]
Digital File 3: Randall McEwen, February 14, 2019 Add to Shelf
(00:35:19) McEwen shares his knowledge of Portland Community College (PCC) in his role as a senior administrator within the system. As director of the Physical Plant and later Vice President for Administrative Services, McEwen explains that he was responsible for the college’s maintenance, capital design and construction, utility services, and a $15 million budget. He talks about the many successes of the PCC, such as the multimillion-dollar bond projects that allowed for the college to expand and provide new facilities to support the growth of programs ranging from veterinarian tech, to other vocational programs, to programs that support the local community, such as language courses. McEwen also talks about the challenges that the PCC faced in working with campus architects, the community, as well as local and state government officials. He expresses that it was through these challenges that the college learned the most and was able to deepen it connection to the community. [Interviewed by Arlyn Palomo and Anthony Garrison. Interview is available online.]
Series 12: Rogue Community College, 2020 Add to Shelf
This series contains 2 interviews.
Digital File 1: Lutz Kramer, November 20, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:43:06) Kramer’s interview begins with him reflecting on his time and history with Rogue Community College, having been with the college since 1974. First as a Humanities Technician then moving into a full-time faculty position with the Philosophy department where he retired from full time teaching in 2008 and now teaching as a part-time instructor. Later, Kramer details some of the key historic moments in the 50 years of RCC, noting the initial voting and passing of the college in Josephine county. Then the transition of finding a location and establishing at the old Job Corps Center. Noting another significant expansion into Jackson county and the opening of the Medford center. These opened up new opportunities in expanding the college. He shared stories and highlights of the opportunities he had in developing curriculum and courses at RCC. Kramer gives firsthand accounts of teaching at the various education centers such as the Medford campus. He noted one of his favorite teaching moments was having the opportunity to plan and take students abroad. An opportunity that allowed students to expand their experiences beyond Josephine County. Kramer explains what the campus culture was like and the perspective as an instructor, saying that he always felt a part of a family and supported while at RCC. One thing that has always stood out to him was the feeling and culture he described as the Rogue Way. [Interview is available online.]
Digital File 2: Midge Renton, November 20, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:51:15) The interview begins with Midge Renton introducing herself and explaining her history with Rogue Community College. She explained her move to Grants Pass in 1966 with her family and the importance that community colleges played in her and her husband’s lives. Upon her move, she saw an advertisement in the local newspaper for a community meeting regarding bringing a vocational school to the Rogue Valley. She then explained her passion for education and stories as an initial founder of RCC.Renton told stories of standing on corners and attending community events to get petitions for signatures to add the vote to the ballot. She detailed the beginning times of RCC and integral individuals who used a small amount of funds to move RCC forward. Renton spoke of the board, along with a couple of other individuals, and how they toured other community colleges in Oregon, to figure out how to start a college. One of her favorite memories of establishing RCC was an anonymous donation of $10,000 that helped the board move forward with the development of plans needed to apply for federal funding to build a library. They were awarded the funding and later learned the donation was from a local seamstress. Renton further explained the importance of RCC for the surrounding community and their drawing point of being both vocational and academic. She said that RCC is meant to serve everybody and give people a second chance. Renton discussed how community needs in Josephine and Jackson counties play a role in program development at RCC.Renton shared that she’s most proud of the individual successes of those that attend RCC. She described the commitment of RCC employees to their students and she finished the interview by sharing her appreciation and admiration for Grants Pass and RCC. [Interview is available online.]
Series 13: Southwestern Oregon Community College, 2020 Add to Shelf
This series contains 3 interviews.
Digital File 1: Tom Nicholls, February 13, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:38:48) Tom Nicholls, Dean of Enrollment at Southwestern Community College (SOCC), offers an appreciative perspective about the college’s history. Nicholls outlines the steadfast commitment of the leaders who worked to establish the college, noting the pride that still permeates throughout SOCC, as they lay claim as the very first institution of higher learning in its region and the very first community college in the state of Oregon. As a local, Nicholls details the connection between SOCC and the community, highlighting that the curriculum development and course offerings continue to serve as a direct response to the local need and economic shifts throughout time. With over 30 years of experience on leadership teams at SOCC, Nicholls provides a detailed account of the history, financial struggles and creative solutions to economic challenges (including the introduction of on campus housing), the college’s historical relationship with the community, educational requirements and intra-college relations, and the future projections of SOCC. [Interview is available online.]
Digital File 2: Rod Keller, February 14, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:30:50) Keller begins by stating the amount of time he has been associated with Southwestern Community College. Keller then goes on to speak about the circumstances surrounding the founding of the college, particularly noting that the local longshoremen union had a particularly high involvement. Keller recognizes key leaders in the history of the college, especially in reference to the efforts to recruit students from outside of the state. Keller continues and speaks about the accessibility of the curriculum, especially to students that may need more support. The interview turns to the topic of online education and its increasing popularity among the student body. The interview concludes with Keller’s view of the future of the institution and the challenges that may come its way. The last point that Keller makes is in reference to programs that the college has in middle schools in order to promote success and a pathway to higher education. [Interview is available online.]
Digital File 3: Patty Scott, February 18, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:41:28) Scott begins by discussing the context surrounding the founding of the community college, both historically and logistically. Then Scott notes state legislative policy changes in community college funding and the negative drawbacks to said changes. Scott goes on to talk about the college’s relationship with the local community and Native population. Scott continues to talk about how the college serves communities of color and the inequity that both these communities and those of lower socioeconomic status experience. After briefly noting the residential community at the college, Scott reflects on the future of the institution, community colleges in general, and education in general. The interview ends with Scott noting the differences between community colleges and larger institutions, particularly the challenges of being a rural community college. Scott has a brief concluding remark on her predecessor. [Interview is available online.]
Series 14: Tillamook Bay Community College, 2020 Add to Shelf
This series contains 3 interviews.
Digital File 1: Connie Green, February 9, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:40:55) Green begins the interview by introducing herself and her association with Tillamook Community College. Green goes on to describe the founding of the college, particularly its origins with Clatsop Community College. Green goes on to describe the selection process for the location of the college, especially focusing on the population and accessibility. Green also discusses the “need” for a community college and how it developed over time. Green highlights a few key individuals in TBCC’s history, like Roy Mason and the first board. Green also makes a point to discuss the effort to add/transition towards education that is not solely non-credit. Green continues to expand on the particular challenges of having a community college in a rural environment, particularly what she calls the “changing economies.” Green goes on to describe the college’s connection and outreach initiatives with the local Native American population. Green continues the interview by describing the funding history of the college and how that funding is collected. Green also describes equity initiatives in the college during her tenure, especially addressing socio-economic status. Green finishes the interview by speaking about some failures and proudest moments in the college’s history. [Interview is available online.]
Digital File 2: Jon Carnahan, February 9, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:50:42) Carnahan begins the interview by introducing himself and the amount of time he had been affiliated with Tillamook Bay Community College. Carnahan goes on to describe the founding of the college, particularly speaking about the Oregon legislature’s decision to empower communities in the establishment of community colleges and TBCC’s separation from Clatsop Community College. Carnahan goes on to explain the funding system of community colleges in Oregon, including TBCC. Carnahan also explains the situation of gaining accreditation for TBCC. Carnahan goes on to explain the circumstances of him becoming the President of TBCC. Carnahan continues the interview by explaining the process he took to reach out to the community. Carnahan then goes on to explain the development of outreach centers throughout the county community. Carnahan explains how the nature of courses of the community college changed over time, particularly the transition from purely “recreational” community education to lower division transfer courses. Carnahan concludes the interview reflecting on the future of TBCC, especially on the relationship between TBCC and Oregon State University. [Interview is available online.]
Digital File 3: James McGinnis, February 14, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:19:52) McGinnis begins the interview by introducing himself. He then goes on to speak about the founding of Tillamook Bay Community College, its origin from Clatsop Community College, and its location. McGinnis discusses the opposition to the college and how it related to the rurality of the college’s location. After briefly describing some of the key people in the institution’s history, McGinnis goes on to describe major events in the institution's development, particularly the hiring of interim President Gail Pincus and the hiring of President Jon Carnahan. McGinnis then describes how the college engaged with the community, particularly the role that professors had in recruiting students. McGinnis focuses on the fact that the college was able to give first year high school graduates free tuition. McGinnis concludes the interview reflecting on the future of the college, particularly the expansion of remote learning and the creation of a sports program. [Interview is available online.]
Series 15: Treasure Valley Community College, 2020 Add to Shelf
This series contains 3 interviews.
Digital File 1: Ron Kulm, February 12, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:24:00) Klum begins the interview introducing himself and listing the capacities in which he was associated with the college. Kulm then goes on to describe the founding of the college and key persons and groups involved in the founding. Kulm then goes on to speak about the relationship between the college and the community and its particular challenges. He continues the interview by speaking of particularly influential people in the college's history and board makeup; and he then shares his thoughts on the relationship the college has with the local communities, particularly with being a border college (bordering with Idaho). Klum goes on to speak about the college’s experience with diversity, particularly with the local Hispanic diversity. Klum finishes off the interview reflecting on the future of the community college, the local population trends, and how the college needs to adapt to future job needs. [Interview is available online.]
Digital File 2: Cathy Yasuda, February 13, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:39:20) Yasuda begins the interview by introducing herself and detailing her affiliation with Treasure Valley Community College; she then describes the founding of the college. Yasuda continues by describing challenges in the early years of the college, particularly as it relates to funding. Yasuda goes on to describe the process of securing a tax-based source of funding and its role as a key milestone in the college’s history. The interview turns towards the discussion of the college’s efforts to connect with the indigenous and other minority communities in the area, specifically through the establishment of the Four Rivers Cultural Center and TVCC’s eligibility for Hispanic Serving Institution status. Yasuda wraps up the interview by reflecting on the future of Treasure Valley Community College. [Interview is available online.]
Digital File 3: Randy Griffin, February 13, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:37:38) Griffin begins the interview by introducing himself and detailing his affiliation and time affiliated with Treasure Valley Community College. He then retells the history of the founding of the college with the added perspective of growing up in the area. Griffin then speaks about the land that the college is located on and especially on how it has allowed the college to expand. He continues the interview by explaining how the college was able to establish their tax-based funding. Griffin speaks about the college's increased efforts to recruit, support, and serve the local Hispanic population. Griffin then explains the effect that technology has had on the expansion of the community that the college serves. Griffin then speaks about various building projects that the college was able to complete, including the building of new student housing and a new Science building. Griffin also notes an embezzlement case as a particular failure in the college’s history. The interview finishes up with Griffin reflecting about the future of the college, especially as it relates to recruiting. [Interview is available online.]
Series 16: Umpqua Community College, 2020 Add to Shelf
This series contains 4 interviews with 3 interviewees.
Digital File 1: Chase Gilley, March 3, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:29:22) Gilley begins by discussing the history of UCC including how UCC received the land on which it currently sits, as well as discussing the founding of the college. Gilley reflects on a number of events that have shaped UCC. Gilley discusses rebuilding after the Roseburg Blast of 1959, the rebirth of athletics, and the shooting in 2015. Gilley reflects on the mission of UCC and discusses how UCC lives out its mission of “transforming lives.” Gilley closes the interview by discussing some of the past challenges, while looking ahead to the future of UCC. [Interviewed by Christy Martin. Interview is available online.]
Digital File 2: Jess Miller, February 18, 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:40:05) Miller provides context and information about the early history of UCC. This includes details about early supporters, early leaders of the college, and support within the community. Miller shares a great deal of information about events that shaped the institution, including changes in the local and national landscape as well as the shooting at UCC in 2015. Miller highlights ways in which UCC has tried to work with and support the local community through expanding educational programs and development of the Southern Oregon Wine Institute. Miller closes by reflecting on who UCC students are, as well as the future of the college. [Interviewed by Marcus Langford and Christy Martin. Interview is available online.]
Digital File 3: Blane Nisson, March 11, 2020 Add to Shelf
(01:14:41) In this interview, Nisson discusses the founding of Umpqua Community College, major movements in its history, and program development during his tenure. Topics include UCC community partnerships established, development as a comprehensive community college, previous campus tragedy and resiliency, and development of athletic teams. [Interviewed by Christy Martin. Interview is available online.]
Digital File 4: Blane Nisson - Southern Oregon Wine Institute, March 16 2020 Add to Shelf
(00:31:41) Nisson discusses the inception, development, and establishment of the Southern Oregon Wine Institute at Umpqua Community College. He begins by describing a meeting between Brandborg Winery and the college, discussing the need for a well-trained winery workforce and how UCC could partner with them to deliver on those needs. Nisson then speaks about similar programs at other community colleges in Washington and California wine country. Nisson continues to explain the evolution of the program according to the relative needs of the local and greater community. Nisson continues to talk about fundraising efforts. Nisson concludes by reflecting on what the Wine Institute meant for the community and the college. [Interviewed by Marcus Langford and Christy Martin. Interview is available online.]
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