P.C. leaders name building for Keegan

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Dr. Thomas Keegan may not be leaving much behind when he takes his new job at Skagit Valley College later this year but his name will be linked to the school he led for more than a decade.


By unanimous vote, the Peninsula College board of trustees agreed last week to rename the Science and Technology building Keegan Hall.


The announcement was made during the Jan. 10 board of trustees meeting.


Keegan led the college through enrollment growth, a transformation of the teaching and learning environment and a $120 million capital construction campaign, which restored or replaced 75 percent of campus facilities — including the construction of the first longhouse on a community college campus in the nation.


“During Dr. Keegan’s tenure, the college has undergone an amazing transformation physically as well as academically,” board chairman Julie McCulloch said. “It is most appropriate that this building be named Keegan Hall in recognition of his many outstanding contributions.”


Keegan Hall, a $22 million, 56,000-square-foot facility, opened in 2007. Located on the west end of the campus, the building contains a lecture hall, 13 labs, five classrooms, 18 offices, and two conference rooms in two separate wings — a science wing and a technology wing.


The public will be invited to join the college community in celebration at a future dedication of this building.


“I am very honored and humbled to be recognized in this manner,” Keegan said. “My years at Peninsula College have been very rewarding and inspiring for me. I am grateful for this honor and feel very fortunate to have worked with such dedicated and considerate Board members, as well as the many wonderful College faculty and staff.”


In other action, the board approved the final contract for Dr. Brinton Sprague to serve as interim president.  Dr. Sprague will serve until a new president is in place.


Sprague received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington.  He earned a Master of Arts in history from Western Washington University, and a Doctorate in educational policy studies from the University of Washington. He started his career as a tenured member of the faculty at North Seattle Community College, later becoming vice president for educational services at Skagit Valley College and vice president for student learning at Cascadia Community College. He served as interim president for Cascadia Community College in 2004-2005, and most recently served as special assistant to the president of Lake Washington Institute of Technology.

Presidential Profile

College trustees also approved a presidential profile recommended by the college’s presidential search advisory committee. The board’s action follows the October announcement by Peninsula College President Dr. Thomas Keegan that he had accepted the position of president of Skagit Valley College after ten years of exceptional leadership at Peninsula. The profile describes the position and identifies qualifications and qualities that will be essential for a successful candidate. The profile also notes the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the next president.


“The Peninsula College Board of Trustees seeks a high-achieving leader who values innovation and collaboration and who will ensure that teaching and learning remain at the center of institutional practice and priorities,” the profile reads. “The president reports to a five-member Board of Trustees appointed by the Governor. Candidates for the position of president of Peninsula College will be evaluated on their qualifications, experience, leadership qualities, and ability to meet the challenges and opportunities identified by the College community. The successful candidate must demonstrate a strong record of achievement in scholarship, management, and educational leadership.”


Trustees also listed qualifications for the next president, including:
• A doctorate from a regionally accredited university                                                         
•  Higher education teaching experience, preferably at a community college
•  Five or more years of progressive senior leadership in higher education, preferably at a community college
•  Implemented a “planful” and priority-driven approach to budget and resource development
•  Demonstrated institutional effectiveness through systematic planning and performance assessment
•  Acquired new resources through fundraising and public/private partnerships                         
•  Developed and maintained strong relationships with local and state elected officials, government agencies, business and industry partners, and community-based organizations
•  Provided sustainable programming and services to geographically dispersed populations, including extension sites              
•  Worked effectively with a local Board of Trustees or comparable governance structure.  

Applications will be due by Feb. 10, and the board of trustees expects to announce finalists at the board meeting on Feb. 21.  


Finalists will be scheduled to visit with members of the college faculty and staff as well as members of the Port Angeles, Forks and Port Townsend communities during the week of March 5. An announcement of  the successful candidate and the sixth Peninsula College president will be made at the board’s regularly scheduled meeting on March 13.


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