Director finalists being reviewed

KPC search nearly done

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2002

Kenai Peninsula College is in the final phase of selecting a new campus director. Four finalists are visiting the Kenai Peninsula this month to interview for the job.

They are vying to replace Ginger Steffy, who will step down in June after 15 years at the helm. The campus visit is the last stage for the director search.

"It is a very involved process. It began last October," said Professor Barbara Christian, the chair of the school's division of arts and science and the chair of the 12-member search committee.

About 40 people applied for the job, she said.

"We were quite encouraged by the pool," she said. "We didn't have trouble coming up with people to interview."

The candidates are:

Gary J. Turner

Turner lives in Carnation, Wash. He has worked as a manager in Seattle for the public relations firm Weber Shandwick Worldwide and four years in public affairs for NASA. Prior to that he spent a year at the University of Alaska Southeast campus in Ketchikan, where he was coordinator of continuing education. He also worked for the Air Force. He holds a master's degree in communications from the University of Denver.

Turner visited the peninsula last week.

Richard K. "Dick" Swanson

Swanson works as director at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Portland, a post he has had since 1997. His other work experience includes consulting in human resources and designing business training programs. He has worked at several other colleges, including North Dakota State University, Humboldt State University, Truckee Meadows Community College and Oregon State University. He holds a master's degree in clinical and counseling psychology from Central Washington State University.

Swanson visited the peninsula this week. He was scheduled to be in Homer Tuesday and Soldotna Wednesday.

Paul R. Dauphinais

Dauphinais lives in Wells, Maine, where he recently finished three years as president of York County Technical College. He has worked as an administrator or taught on a college level at institutions including Mid-Plains Community College in Nebraska, Oklahoma State University, Salem-Teikyo University in West Virginia and the University of Maine. He spent 20 years with the U.S. Navy and held the rank of commander in the Naval Reserves. He has a doctoral degree in American and Canadian history from the University of Maine at Orono.

Dauphinais is due to arrive in Homer Wednesday and visit Soldotna today and Friday.

Peggy Poling

Poling is an educational consultant in New Mexico, where she heads her own company, Solutions, in the town of Clayton. Her prior work experience includes directing the office of research and sponsored programs at Metropolitan State College in Denver and positions with New Mexico Highlands University and the University of Kentucky. She also has worked in overseas development education projects for Kenya, Turkey and China. She has a doctoral degree from Pennsylvania State University with a specialty in adult and vocational education, among other things.

Poling is due to arrive on the peninsula Monday. She will be in Soldotna Monday and Wednesday and in Homer Tuesday.

Each candidate is scheduled to meet with students, faculty and college staff and to be a guest at an informal reception. All the meetings are open to the public.

Christian said the committee plans to pick a favorite candidate by April 19.

She emphasized that the final selection will be made at the university, not campus level, although the recommendation of the campus selection committee will carry a lot of weight. The decision will come from University of Alaska Anchorage Provost James Chapman.

The date of that decision has not been set, she said.

Last Friday, the college hosted a retirement reception for Steffy and two faculty members, professors Boyd Shaffer and Gary Freeburg, who also are retiring at the end of the current academic year. Soldotna Mayor David Carey presented Steffy with a proclamation declaring April 8 Ginger Steffy Day in Soldotna.

KPC in Soldotna is a branch of the University of Alaska Anchorage and has about 1,900 full- and part-time students this semester. It has a branch campus in Homer, the Kachemak Bay Branch, and also sponsors classes in Seward.

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