Posted at 2 p.m. Oct. 3, 2016

Interim VPAA serves second year

LCCC to launch new search for vice president of Academic Affairs

Laramie County Community College is entering into its second consecutive year without a permanent vice president of Academic Affairs.

LCCC has been searching for the next VPAA but has yet to decide on a candidate. Terry Harper is the interim VPAA.

The previous VPAA left LCCC in the spring of 2015 to take a presidency position at a college in California.

While there are hopes that there will be a new permanent VPAA by July 1, 2017, the position will remain in the care of Harper, who said she “will be putting in an application,” until a permanent replacement is found.

Students attending LCCC may not know what the VPAA does. The Academic Affairs office handles a broad spectrum of student relations, such as researching and assisting in determining what courses should be offered at a school, and when those classes should be held. Academic Affairs also examines statistics on how LCCC holds up in comparison to different schools in categories such as student effort, academic challenge, support for learning and student-faculty interaction.

LCCC President Dr. Joe Schaffer said that the board just didn’t reach an agreement on the candidates who applied during the national search in the spring. Schaffer said that finding a candidate that meshes well on paper as well as in person in accordance with the job has been hard. While he cannot discuss the candidates because of confidentiality, the candidates’ basic information will be made public, Schaffer said. The candidate search is extensive to ensure the right candidate is found. The interview process starts with a detailed cover letter and ends with a half to full-day campus visit.

The position of the VPAA requires flexibility to handle the various people who attend and work for LCCC. Schaffer explained that there are students as well as faculty currently that fall into all different generations. He said when he started five years ago there were individuals belonging to the silent generation all the way to the millennials and each had a different learning style. Whoever fills the position as VPAA will need to be able to bridge that gap, Schaffer said. Online tools have become essential to college students and the VPAA works with informational technology to provide the best possible online resources. Some departments that are intertwined with the VPAA include recruitment, admissions, accounting and finance, student activities, and more, Schaffer said.

The importance of networking does not stop at LCCC. Harper currently networks across the state to make sure that LCCC is meeting a statewide standard as well as coordinating with out-of-state universities pertaining to transfer credits. LCCC has transfer agreements with the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Wyoming to accept LCCC credits for students looking to further their education.

The workforce courses depend on the VPAA to ensure that communication lines to the community stay open. Open lines of communication allow their field of study to fit their goals. Workforce courses are influenced by the need for courses such as OSHA and Program Management Training courses. Students involved in these programs are “Within a short period of time learning the essential skills necessary to get out there and get a job,” Harper said.

More information

Health Sciences dean takes interim role as vice president of Academic Affairs