Grand Rapids Community College Provost Laurie Chesley has accepted the position of president at Central Oregon Community College. She will assume her new role on July 1.
As GRCC Provost, Chesley worked with department heads, deans, faculty and staff to help students succeed in their chosen path, whether it was a skilled trade program, an associate degree, or a transfer to a four-year institution.
Originally from southwest Michigan, Chesley spent 14 years teaching English at higher education institutions before focusing on an administrative career.
Chesley has worked for GRCC since 2005 and her 18 years of administrative experience includes the role of dean of Arts and Sciences at the college. Chesley has been provost and executive vice president for Academic and Student Affairs since 2014. Reflecting on her 14 years at GRCC, she noted at least one constant.
“When I arrived here, I was extremely impressed by how deeply everyone on the faculty and staff cared about students’ success,” Chesley stated in an email to The Collegiate. “That hasn’t changed a bit.”
COCC is located in Bend, Oregon and was founded in 1949. Chesley will be the sixth president of the college after Shirley Metcalf, who assumed the role in 2014. Chesley observed similarities between the two colleges, and shared what she hoped to bring to her new role.
“They are both collegial and collaborative institutions,” Chesley stated. “They are both highly respected in their communities. I want to maintain and build on those strengths.”
She named “the people” her favorite part of her involvement with GRCC.
“Without a doubt,” Chesley stated. “The students here are great, and I will miss my colleagues – especially the deans – very much.”
Chesley expects her last day with GRCC to be in June. Meanwhile, GRCC is beginning the search for a new provost.