Three finalists to interview for dean |

Three finalists to interview for dean

SUMMIT COUNTY – A Colorado Mountain College (CMC) search committee has invited three finalists to interview for the soon-to-be vacant dean’s position at CMC’s Summit County campus.

In March, CMC Summit County Campus Dean Tim Hoopingarner announced his plans to retire. He has been an employee of CMC for 20 years and dean of the local campus for 18. His last day in the position will be August 15.

CMC staff advertised the position nationally and received resumes from about 80 applicants from across the country, said Robert Ritschel, dean of the Steamboat Springs campus and chair of the search committee in charge of interviewing candidates for the Summit County position.

Other members of the search committee include staff and faculty from various CMC campuses (excluding Summit County) and community representatives from Dillon and Breckenridge, Ritschel said.

“For a campus dean position, it’s not likely that someone that actually works on the campus will be involved on the search committee,” he said. “There’s a concern that a perception will be given, “Well, you get to pick your own boss.'”

Staff and faculty of the Breckenridge and Dillon campuses will have the opportunity to meet the three candidates at an open house next week. The search committee will ask for feedback after the meeting, Ritschel said.

The search committee ranked the qualified applicants by their resumes, letters of applications and a list of questions to which the college asked them to respond. The committee is looking for someone with experience in a multicampus situation, senior level administrative experience and community college experience, he said.

“We kind of just see who rose to the top,” Ritschel said. “Frequently, it’s not as hard as it might seem.”

The search committee invited the five top candidates to visit Summit County for interviews. Three accepted the invitation: Leah Bornstein, chief academic officer at Lamar Community College, Frances Feinerman, senior research associate at Wyoming Community College Commission, and Barbara Rice, campus vice-president at College of the Redwoods, Mendocino Coast campus in California.

The selection committee will interview the finalists Tuesday, July 15. The committee members then pass their comments to CMC’s interim president, Robert Spuhler, who will make the final decision – perhaps as early as next week, Ritschel said.

CMC officials hope Hoopingarner’s successor will start the position no later than Aug. 15, he said. The fall semester begins Aug. 25.

Hoopingarner is the second CMC campus dean to retire this year. College officials recently hired a new dean for the Rifle campus. A different selection committee was in charge of finding the replacement.

“No person is on both committees,” Ritschel said.

Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or

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