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Harford Community College announces four presidential finalists, dates they will do virtual forums with stakeholders

Harford Community College’s committee to determine its next president announced its four finalists who will be participating in virtual forums with various stakeholders over the next few weeks.

The finalists include one candidate who currently works at HCC and another who had previously worked there. Kelly Koermer is the Dean of Community Education, Business and Applied Technology at Harford; Annette Haggray, the Provost at Northern Virginia Community College, previously worked at HCC for seven years as its Vice President for Academic Affairs.

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The other two finalists are Theresa B. Felder, currently the Senior Vice President for Student Success at Clark State Community College in Springfield, Ohio, and David Hinds, who recently retired from the Teacher’s Retirement System in Texas after serving a five-year tenure as president of Victoria College in Victoria, Texas.

Candidates will visit the campus during the weeks of Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 to meet with Interim President Jacqueline Jackson and her cabinet, the Harford Community College Board of Trustees, and with employees and community members through in-person and virtual forums. Candidates will also have an opportunity to take a tour of the campus.

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Each candidate will have an open forum with students from 10:15 to 11:30 a.m., a forum with employees from 1 to 2:15 p.m., and one with community members from 3:45 to 5 p.m.

Members of the Harford County community are invited to attend virtual open forums for each candidate. A limited number of seats are available for in-person open forums due to social distancing restrictions. Seats can be reserved by visiting tickets.harford.edu.

Koermer’s open forums will be Sept 29. Prior to joining Harford, Koermer held several positions at Anne Arundel Community College, including Executive Director for the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security Technology and Joint Ventures, and Dean of the School of Business, Computing & Technical Studies. She received associate of arts and baccalaureate degrees in paralegal studies from Stevenson University and a juris doctorate from University of Baltimore School of Law. Koermer is admitted to practice law in the State of Maryland and before the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Felder will visit the college and host forums Oct. 2. Prior to her current tole, she held several other higher education positions, including Vice President of Student Affairs, Administrative Dean for Clark State’s largest branch campus, the Academic Affairs Coordinator, a College Access Director, and a Workforce Development Coordinator. Felder completed a doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership at Northeastern University, a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Syracuse University.

Haggray will host forums Oct. 6. As Provost at Northern Virginia Community College, Haggray oversees a campus of more than 14,000 students. Haggray earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa and a B.A. in History and M.A. in Educational Technology/Media from North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC.

Hinds will have virtual forums Oct. 9. Prior to joining Victoria College in 2015, he served for three years as the Senior Vice President of Instructional Affairs at Allegany College of Maryland. Hinds earned a Ph.D. from the University of Texas, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston, and attended Midland Community College and Austin Community College prior to earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas State, San Marcos.

The open forums can be viewed on the HCC events page on YouTube. The forums will be moderated and questions from the chat will be provided to the candidates as time allows, according to a news release.

Two of the College’s Board of Trustees, Steve Linkous and Christopher Payne, are overseeing the presidential search process, heading the nine-member committee. The committee also includes representatives of the college’s faculty, staff, administrator, and student governance councils, as well as the HCC Foundation Board, and two Harford County community members.

More than 40 applications were submitted for the position and the committee narrowed that pool to 11 first-round candidates. The committee then picked six of those candidates, who recently completed a second round of interviews to determine the finalists.

Former President Dianna Phillips, who had led the community college since August 2016, resigned in February. Her resignation came on the heels of three senior level administrators being fired for “improper use” of their official email accounts, speculating about the employment status of other college employees.

Jackson has served as interim president since Phillips' resignation, leading HCC as the college community deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jackson did not apply to be president and plans to return to her prior position as vice president of student affairs and institutional effectiveness, and Title IX coordinator, once a new president is in place. College officials expect that to happen in January for the start of the spring 2021 semester.

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More information about the current search process is available online through the HCC’s Presidential Search web page.

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