A year in review
In its third year of existence, the
COCC Bobcat Rugby team made it to
the national competition.
The National Small College Rugby
Organization awarded Central Oregon
Community College the right to
host the NSCRO Region 4 Challenge
Cup Championship event on March
COCC Rugby Club was undefeated
in League play for fall 2014 and
was seeded #1 in the Regional Championship
Playoffs held at COCC.
The championship was a fourteam
event with each team playing
one match per day. The winner qualified
for the Challenge Cup National
Championship on April 18-19 at
Founders Field in Pittsburgh, PA.
After the Bobcats were granted
hosting privileges, they approached
COCC administration for funding.
“To have this support at a small
college is unbelievable,” Bennett
Bennett previously coached Oregon
State University’s rugby team to
a national competition in the 1990s
and believes it is important to stress
“student athletes” not just “athletes.”
“The student athletes have to be in
good standing with the college which
means emphasizing the student part
of student athlete,” Bennett said.
Mazama Field proved to not provide
a home court advantage to the
Bobcat Rugby at the championship,
In the first game of the weekend,
the Central Oregon Community College
Bobcats lost 15-35 to the University
of the Pacific, taking them
out of the running for first place.
University of San Francisco went on
to beat Point Loma Nazarene University,
earning them a shot at winning.
The third game victory of the weekend
would seal their spot in third. After
a close game, the Bobcats lost by
a hair. Point Loma Nazarene University
took third with a 2 point difference
With a few hiccups the team faced
prior to the game, they gave it their
all, according to Bobcat athletes.
“I feel like we could have won if
we had a full roster,” said Alex Esselstrom,
COCC rugby player. “If
we didn’t have injuries or if we had
everyone we had in winter [we could
Plagued with injuries and a lack
of players left COCC at a disadvantage
compared to their competitors.
Not having a full roster in any sport
leaves little room for changing out
players when they are tired and needing
a break, according to Esselstrom.
While other teams had players to
spare, the Bobcats were left to keep
playing the same players the entire
game and weekend.
They may have lost, but that is just
a small loss for the successful season
the team has had. Though they didn’t
end up winning the competition, the
Bobcat team said they were grateful
to have hosted the event and for the
support from the campus.
“It was truly amazing to have so
much support from our fans as well
as COCC and everyone involved,”
said Michael Jimenez, the captain
of University of the Pacific’s team,
“COCC really made us feel welcome
and we appreciated being treated like
athletes and not just a ‘club sport’.”
On Thursday May 14th, Central Oregon
Community College celebrated the school’s
50th anniversary. All day around campus
different departments organized events and
presentations that were open in the evening.
The event had sections depicting the
humble beginnings of the school that were
created by students and faculty. At the Robert
E. Barber Library photographs depicting
the different presidents throughout history
were accompanied by their own personal
The biggest event of the night took place
at the Campus Center, there the First Nation
students had traditional dancing and clubs
like the Multicultural center, COPE, and
ASCOCC had activities and food for visiting
student families and community members.
Jim Weaver, Executive Director of the
COCC foundation took to the audience to
talk about Bob and Joyce Coats who were
being honored for their legacy at COCC
and would have their name added to the
Campus Center, making it the Coats Campus
“I could not be more honored and
pleased to be speaking to you for so many
reasons. I had the absolute pleasure to have
been friends with Joyce Coats for seven
years and through that experience I came to
honor so much what she and her husband
made possible.” Weaver said addressing the
attendees. “Bob was one of the first Central
Oregon community college foundation
trustees in serving around 1950. Both
he and his wife were a couple who really
wanted higher education to happen for their
children and their community. They recognized
that at Bend High School [where
the COCC was located at the time] was not
serving the need.”
Weaver expressed Bob and Joyce’s commitment
to education and that by the 1960s
the couple had acquired a great deal of land
in the city of Bend.
“The way Joyce put it was that an Iowa
farm boy could not have too much land.”
And so in the late 1960’s Bob and Joyce
Coats approached Don Pence, who was
then the current president of COCC and offered
to donate 80 acres of Awbrey Butte
he owned, land that today has become the
core of COCC, where the campus center,
the Barber Library and the Health careers
center are located.
“Not only did Bob and Joyce Coats offered
the land, Bob offered to be directly
responsible in working with the college in
development and eventually the school received
an additional 70 acres.”
Weaver recognized to the crowd of attendees
that patriotism, love of family, appreciation
for education, and vision where
elements that came together in Bob and
Joyce Coats and that thanks to their deep
generosity, they have helped change the
lives of ten of thousands of people.
With that Jim Weaver thanked the Coats
family and made the announcement that
from the point on, in memory of Bob and
Joyce Coats, the COCC campus center
would be called the “Coats Campus Center,”
to honor the legacy of the late couple.
“Central Oregonians and COCC today
say thank you, out of all the buildings on
campus who might be named after Bob
and Joyce Coats there is no more appropriate
one then the Campus Center and for it
to now and forever more be made in to the
Coats Campus Center,” Weaver said. “Bob
and Joyce have passed on, but their legacy
continues today and their legacy will continue
in the lives of their kids and of everyone
who attends COCC in the future.”
After a failed search in the 2014-15
academic year, Central Oregon Community
College found their leader.
Dr. Jim Middleton, former COCC
president retired from his position after
a decade of service in June 2014.
The prior academic year, after Middleton
had announced his upcoming
retirement, COCC began a nationwide
search for the next leader of the
school. After selecting their top candidate,
Patrick Lanning from Chemeketa
Community College, COCC
received notice that Lanning was on
administrative leave from his current
positions pending allegations of
sexual misconduct. At that point, the
COCC presidential search committee
and board of directors appointed Dr.
Shirley Metcalf as interim president
for 2014-15 allowing them time to
complete another nationwide search.
The 2014-15 search resulted in
4 candidates being brought to the
COCC campus for interviews as finalists.
Again COCC picked their top
candidate, Dr. Tony Miksa of McHenry
County College in Illinois. Miksa
withdrew unexpectedly after the death
of his father-in-law in February.
“For COCC and for Central
Oregon, we are very disappointed
as we felt Dr. Miksa would be an
outstanding president for our college,”
said COCC board chair,
Laura Craska Cooper after Miksa’s
Following Miksa’s resignation,
Cooper stated, “Having seen the
tremendous talent and dedication
of faculty, staff and the board during
the search process, I’m confident
that COCC is in a position of
strength and will continue to provide
a quality, supportive educational
experience for students and
members of the community.”
The board reached out to another
of the presidential finalist candidates
who said they did not want
to be considered at that time, according
to Ron Paradis director of
community relations at COCC at
With two unsuccessful searches,
the board looked again to Metcalf
as the potential next leader of the
campus. The COCC Board offered
Metcalf the position as president
which she accepted.
“In her six months as interim, Metcalf
has shown great leadership and a
passion for students at the college,”
Prior to serving as interim president,
Metcalf was COCC’s Dean of
Extended Learning, overseeing the
college’s non-credit instruction and
the COCC campuses in Redmond,
Madras and Prineville. She has been
at COCC for four years. In 2013, from
February through June, she served as
interim vice president for instruction.
Metcalf is the first female president
at COCC since the college opened.
“It feels great,” Metcalf said. “I’ve
always wanted to be a role model for
women in [leadership] and this role allows
me to be that.”
Metcalf said when she accepted the
interim position last year, she stepped
in because she “wanted to keep the
college going for the next president.”
One of the factors in Metcalf’s decision
to accept the offer was in the
support of the faculty and staff.
“I love this college, the students
here, and this community and would
like to continue to serve them,” Metcalf
OSU-Cascades campus delayed
The proposed OSU-Cascades campus on
Bend’s west side continues to be in limbo.
The group opposing the expansion, Truth in
Site filed an additional appeal early this year which
ultimately could reach the state Supreme Court
and focuses on tentative plans to develop the additional
Jeffrey Kleinman, a Portland attorney representing
Truth In Site, told the Oregon Land Use
Board of Appeals hearing the matter in April that
the university is skirting planning regulations by
developing 10 acres as the first phase of an eventual
An independent hearing examiner and the
Bend City Council have approved OSU-Cascades’
plans, finding they adhered to the city’s development
code. Truth In Site is appealing those decisions.
“Probably the key issue in this case is whether
or not the city should have required a master plan,”
Bend City Attorney Mary Winters said in Salem.
The delay in expansion hasn’t prevented OSUCascades
from moving ahead with expansion to a
four- year university and they plan to offer lower
division courses to 100 freshmen students next fall
according to Jane Reynolds, director of enrollment
“For the current school year with a 45-credit
load, COCC charges an in-district student about
$4,000, not including room and board. In-state
tuition and fees at OSU- Cascades is $7,800, and
when combined with room and board and other
expenses, the total is about $21,000, according to
one of those glossy mailers,” reported The Bulletin.
“And because OSU-Cascades won’t have a
dorm built by the fall, OSU-Cascades freshmen
will be living in COCC dorms.”
Currently, OSU-Cascades teaches its upper-division
courses out of Cascades Hall on the COCC
campus and there are no plans to expand in order
to accommodate the additional 100 students projected
for the fall.
“We’re already pretty full,” said Director of Enrollment
Services and Student Success Jane Reynolds
in an interview with KTVZ. “It’s a juggle for
us. It’s going to be tight for the next couple years.”
Juniper Hall stabbing
A Juniper Hall resident stabbed his roommate
several times in an apparently unprovoked attack at
Juniper Hall late on Oct. 31, police said.
Bend Police responded to the reported stabbing
in the residence hall at Central Oregon Community
College shortly after midnight, according to Sgt. John
Police arrived to find 18-year-old James Briles in
the hallway of the residence hall, suffering from multiple
stab wounds believed to be caused by a knife,
according to Lawrence in a news release on Nov. 1.
Paramedics rushed Briles to St. Charles Medical
Center in Bend, where he was in critical condition.
Eric Norgaard, a 22-year-old Juniper Hall resident
was arrested in his dorm room and booked into the
Deschutes County Jail.
“Up to this point in the investigation, the attack
appears to have been unprovoked,” Lawrence said in
the news release.
In his 23 years working at the college, COCC director
of community relations, Ron Paradis, could not
recall any incidents of this level.
“This is by far the worst crime or attack he can
remember happening on the Bend campus in recent
history,” Paradis said.
According to Lawrence, several other Juniper Hall
residents witnessed the attack or its aftermath.
“A Central Oregon Police Chaplain responded to
the scene in order to assist residents in dealing with
this traumatic incident,” Lawrence said. “This appears
to be an isolated attack, and there is no indication
that residents/students are in any danger.”
Norgaard is being faced with charges of attempted
murder, first-degree assault and unlawful use of a
weapon and plead his case on April 17, according to
the Oregon Judicial Information Network.
Briles recently filed a notice of intent to sue
COCC. A tort claim notice dated March 17 states
James Briles “nearly died” and the extent of his injuries,
Ron Paradis, COCC director of community relations,
was unable to comment regarding the situation.