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In their own words: Clatsop College candidate Robert Duehmig

Running for director, Zone 2, Position 3

Robert Duehmig
Sunday, May 2, 2021

Robert Duehmig

Age: 56

Residence: Astoria

Occupation: Interim director, Oregon Office of Rural Health

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.

Community involvement: Clatsop Community College Board member for five years

How have you contributed to the board? I work with rural communities all across Oregon. I understand the importance of the college to our North Coast communities and the advantages we have over communities that don’t have access to continuing education and workforce training. I have brought to the board an understanding of how the college connects with our health care facilities, our employers and our K-12 system to strengthen opportunities for our citizens and make the North Coast a more inviting place for people to invest and create jobs.

Since becoming board chair, I have implemented regular board work session to help the board better understand the complex issues facing the college and have ensured board members have a better understanding of issues before setting policies and approving budgets. These sessions have helped guide decisions on academic program prioritization, guided pathways, distance learning, campus management/ERP (enterprise resource planning), board governance and the college relationship with the Foundation.

Additionally, because of the hard work of the president and college employees, we have successfully completed our Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities accreditation.

I have actively participated in the development of the new maritime sciences hall at the Marine and Environmental Research and Training Station (MERTS) campus. The project will strengthen the role of CCC in the maritime sciences and provide much needed training in a needed field.

The college, as with all of Clatsop County and the state of Oregon, has faced many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we face many challenges coming out of the pandemic and into a changed educational environment, I believe we have managed the crisis well and are in a strong position to recover.

Top issues

** Adapting to the new educational reality. This reality impacts how we deliver our classes and how our students will learn. While we will return to face-to-face education, tele-education will not be going away. We need to look at how we support our faculty and staff to strengthen their abilities to continue offering classes online and through hybrid models. This will mean an investment in technology necessary to offer high-quality education to students anywhere in the county and to those from outside the county. Tele-education means we will compete more with institutions farther away and we must be able meet that challenge.

** Adapting to the needs of our local businesses. From timber to hospitality, the last year has created challenges for our local employers. I will focus on not only ensuring that CCC continues to meet the needs of our local businesses but is also there to help new businesses start up as the economy begins to return to normal.

** Partnerships. With the changes in how we deliver our education and, as we invest in the future, I will focus on how we partner better with other coastal community colleges and Oregon institutions to strengthen the academics and training we are able to offer right here in Clatsop County.

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