Retiring COCC president appointed to key leadership position


In September, retiring college president Jim Middleton will begin a key leadership role supporting education in Oregon.

Earlier this summer, Middleton was appointed as commissioner for Community College Services and director of the Department for Community Colleges and Workforce Development (CCWD). Middleton is officially retiring after serving as Central Oregon Community College’s president for 10 years.

In total, Middleton has served for more than 30 years as a community college administrator, in addition to teaching in high schools and colleges for 10 years. Middleton is currently a member of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, and previously served on the Executive Board of the Oregon Community College Association.

After being appointed, Middleton said he was “honored to be asked to provide some transition leadership at the state level.”

Middleton’s successor in the position, Gerald Hamilton, lead CCWD as its interim executive director and left the position June 30, 2014. Middleton will begin serving as commissioner part-time beginning on Oct. 13, 2014, and his service will conclude no later than June 30, 2015.

Ben Cannon, Executive Director of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), announced the decision earlier this summer.

“Jim Middleton is an extraordinary leader, who intricately understands the community college system and workforce opportunities. We are thrilled to have the benefit of his deep experience and thoughtful leadership at the state level. We are also grateful for the service that Gerald Hamilton provided to Oregon and to the HECC at a critical juncture for higher education in Oregon,” Cannon said after Middleton’s appointment.

As part of this position, Middleton will assist HECC as it completes systems, structures and policies. He will also assist as well as long-term staffing and planning for coordinating Oregon’s public universities, community college programs and services.

“[I will be] contributing to debate on and potential structures for outcome-based funding and strategies,” Middleton said. “[In addition I will be] assisting HECC in its work with the legislature to set funding levels and policy for 2015-17.”

In this position, Middleton will be collaborating with OCCA and community college presidents, developing plans to strengthen Oregon’s community colleges as a “resource for citizens and the state.”


Molly Svendsen | The Broadside



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