Larry G. McDougle, former president of Northwest State Community College, will become the interim president of Owens Community College, Perrysburg Township, Friday, Jan. 1.
He takes over for Christa Adams, who retires after serving as president since 2001.
Some connect Adams’ retirement with the OCC nursing school’s loss of accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission earlier this year.
However, Reney Scott, interim provost of Owens, said Adams was talking about retirement before the loss of accreditation.
One of McDougle’s jobs will be to head a probe into the loss of the accreditation.
McDougle, a Napoleon resident, took over as NSCC president in 1991, and retired in 2003 as president emeritus. During his tenure, Northwest State grew, in enrollment and in buildings.
He holds a number of academic degrees, including a doctorate in higher education from the University of Toledo, and an honorary doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Findlay. He has served on various boards of directors for public and private organizations, and spent more than 40 years in higher education as a faculty member and administrator.
Mr. McDougle “is highly respected among higher edsaid ucation and community leaders within the Northwest Ohio region and beyond,” said John C. Moore, chairman of the Owens Board of Trustees.
“(He) is also well aware that as with any academic institution, there are challenges, and the Board of Trustees is confident in his ability to work through those challenges, and position and elevate Owens to the next level of academic excellence,” Moore said.
McDougle will be paid $20,000 per month to head Owens Community College.
Scott said in 2006, the school obtained NLNAC accreditation until 2014, with conditions.
In the spring of 2009, college officials submitted a report to NLNAC addressing the organization’s concerns. But the NLNAC found the report lacking, and notified the college during the summer it was revoking its accreditation of Owens’ nursing program.
Scott said Owens retains the approval of the Ohio Board of Nursing, which allows Owens students to sit for the state nursing license examination. Plus, Scott said hospitals in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan will still hire Owens graduates.
Scott said the biggest problem the accreditation issue has caused is “a generalized anxiety.”
“It’s not just limited to the nursing students. All students are asking, ‘is my program accredited? What is the status of that accreditation?’”
In the meantime, the Owens nursing school has applied for, and has been granted, candidacy status for NLNAC accreditation, the first step in getting its accreditation back.
Scott also said the college has taken steps to improve accountability and communication between departments.
A search for a permanent replacement for Adams is underway. A 17-member search committee will be appointed Wednesday, Jan. 6.
Several public forums are scheduled as part of the search process.
College officials say they hope to have the new president hired sometime in 2010.
McDougle said, “I am honored to accept this position as interim president of Owens Community College, and look forward to working with the faculty, staff and students, as well as the community partners and helping our students reach their highest educational goals and career ambitions.”–David