Mt. Hood Community College has announced the tenth president in its 47 years, Debra Derr.

The college Board of Education approved Derr as the presidential finalist Saturday, April 6, after a public forum and second round of interviews.

Debra Derr

The president of North Iowa Area Community College, Derr has held senior administrative positions at Mt. Hood Community College and Clackamas Community College.

“We are impressed with Dr. Derr’s credentials and strong connection to our college and community,” Board Chairman Dave Shields said in a press release. “Her leadership style is highly inclusive and participative. She is prepared to help move MHCC forward as it meets a number of important challenges, such as sustainable funding and graduation goals.”

Derr began her community college career as an adult returning student more than 30 years ago. She served as a senior administrator in Oregon and Wisconsin before becoming president of North Iowa Area Community College.

Derr received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Linfield College, a master’s degree in counseling from Portland State University and a doctorate in community college and higher education administration from Oregon State University.

She has experience working with students who have disabilities, along with advising and counseling, teaching psychology and student development courses and administering student affairs programs.

With college president Michael Hay retiring June 30, 2013, a search committee including students and employees had selected Debra Derr, Suzanne Miles and Jacob Ng as finalists.

After Miles came under scrutiny as interim chancellor at Pima Community College, she dropped out of the running Wednesday, March 20.

Mt. Hood Community College serves more than 30,000 students each year and offers more than 70 two-year degrees, certificate programs and transfer options.

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