To the new dean of Health Sciences, working at Central Oregon Community College will be like “coming home.”
A former Oregon State University graduate, Dr. Chad Harris will be returning to Oregon as the new dean of the Health Sciences department. Harris will start in fall 2014.
“I loved my time in Oregon when I was there,” Harris said. “I have family in Portland as well as in Boise, so I’m no stranger to life in the Northwest.”
Harris began his career at Cal Poly State University and then earned a master’s degree from Kansas State University and a doctorate from Oregon State University. He later developed an exercise science program at Western New Mexico, a program he ran for five years before moving to LaGrange, Georgia and creating a similar program there.
Most recently, Harris served as dean of the school of Allied Health at Western New Mexico University.
When Harris begins his career at COCC, he hopes to spend time getting to know the student population and the needs of the staff before making changes.
“I would like to say, ‘Coming in I would like to change this, or improve that,’” Harris said. “However, it would be a little disingenuous of me without sitting down first and really know how the program works and everyone who works within it,” Harris said,
As the needs of the program become clear, Harris hopes to create plans of improvement that will propel the Health Sciences department forward while upholding the current standards.
“There is so much intellectual knowledge we can draw from to propel the program forward, so as the needs within the department clarify they can be promptly addressed,” Harris said. “I believe in the college’s mission and its reputation and I really want to uphold that and hold myself to those standards.”
Harris expressed his shared interest with students and faculty and the community around COCC.
“Being on campus for my interview, it was clear that [students] were excited to be there, and that made me excited as well,” Harris said. “I saw that students loved being on campus and loved being in Central Oregon. You can only find that feeling in Bend and especially working at COCC.”
Brayan Gonzalez | The Broadside