Following exhaustive search, West Hills Lemoore to choose from three candidates

By Ed Martin, Editor
Left to right: Dr. Jeremy Brown, Dr. Kristin Clark, and Dr. Chemene Crawford.
Left to right: Dr. Jeremy Brown, Dr. Kristin Clark, and Dr. Chemene Crawford.

The search for a new college president for West Hills College Lemoore has been narrowed down to three well qualified educators, one from California, one from Oregon, and one from Texas. A decision is expected at any time following a public gathering on Sept. 10 at the West Hills College Lemoore Presentation Center where all three were asked questions and told the small audience of their qualifications for the job.

The national search yielded 43 applicants to fill the seat of retiring President Don Warkentin, who leaves the college late this fall after a career that covers 29 years as a campus administrator, beginning in 1986. 

The three were selected to move forward after nine finalists were interviewed by a presidential search committee made up of 14 college and district administrators, staff and faculty from Lemoore and the district, and two members of the West Hills Community College District Board of Trustees. Board members on the committee were Len Falter of Lemoore and Nina Oxborrow of Coalinga.

The finalists include Dr. Jeremy Brown, former president, Portland Community College in Oregon; Dr. Kristin Clark, vice president, student services, Orange Coast College in California; and Dr. Chemene Crawford, vice president, student services, El Centro College in Texas.

The search committee held personal interviews on Aug. 5 and 6 with the top nine candidates. Three were selected to come back to Lemoore for Thursday’s public forum on campus to meet faculty, staff and members of the community.

The three were also interviewed by Chancellor Frank Gornick, who will then recommend one individual to become only the third president of WHCL in its 14-year history. That recommendation will go to the Board of Trustees for approval at its regular meeting on Sept. 22, which will be held at the Lemoore campus.

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