Three finalists named in BRCC president search

Three finalists for the position of president at Blue Ridge Community College were certified today by the Ad-Hoc Presidential Certification Committee of the State Board for Community Colleges. Finalists include Dr. Kathryn Anne Barbour, of Easton, Md.; Dr. John A. Downey, of Harrisonburg; and Dr. Doreen M. Larson, of South Hadley, Mass.

Dr. Kathryn Anne Barbour is currently vice president for Academic Services at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, Md., a position she has held since 2005. She was previously interim vice president for academic affairs at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, Calif., from 2003-2005 and was dean of the division of arts and letters at that college from 1999-2005. She also served as assistant dean of the college for technology and special programs at Cazenovia College in Cazenovia, N.Y., beginning at that college in 1990 as chair for the Center for Humanities and Education there. She holds a doctorate in English from Binghamton University; a master’s degree from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from Le Moyne College in Syracuse.

Dr. John A Downey, of Harrisonburg, is currently vice president for instruction and student services at Blue Ridge Community College, a position he has held since 2005. He was previously dean of health and human services at Blue Ridge from 2002-2005, interim vice president for instruction and student services in 2000-2001 and was coordinator of counseling services there from 1995-2000. He began his career at Blue Ridge as disability services coordinator and academic counselor in 1992. Prior to joining the college, he was director of student activities at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, Mass. He has a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Virginia; a master’s degree from Boston College and a bachelor’s degree from Le Moyne College in Syracuse.

Dr. Doreen M. Larson is currently vice president for student affairs at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, Mass., a position she has held since 2005. Previously she was assistant vice president for student access and services at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio, from 2002-2005; was dean of counseling and academic support services at Lakeland from 1998-2002; and was faculty and director of the learning center from 1994-1998. Prior to that she was a faculty member in the College of Education at Kent State University from 1991-1994. She holds a doctorate in philosophy with a major in special education from Kent State University, a master’s degree from John Carroll University in Ohio; and a bachelor’s degree from Cleveland State University in Ohio.

Finalists will be invited to interviews with the Blue Ridge Community College local board and other college groups in early June. The chancellor hopes to make an appointment by mid-June. The new president will replace Dr. James Perkins, who is retiring as of Aug. 1, 2009.


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