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Clark College names new president

Clark College has a new president: Karin Edwards, currently president at Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus.

The college board of trustees voted unanimously Friday to offer the position to Edwards, who brings 36 years of community college experience. The announcement ends a months-long search process following the retirement of Bob Knight. Interim President Sandra Fowler-Hill is expected to end her term sometime over the summer.

“Edwards is an incredible leader,” said trustee Paul Speer. “When you look at her track record, what you find is an individual who is incredibly aligned with the values of Clark College.”

Edwards has been the president at the Cascade Campus since 2014, where she’s overseen advanced manufacturing programs at the Swan Island Trades Center. She also oversees PCC’s Maritime Welding Center, which works with shipbuilding company Vigor Industrial. Vigor in 2019 purchased the former Christensen shipyard in the Columbia Business Center to convert it into a manufacturing center for U.S. Army landing craft; Vigor has a $1 billion contract for the construction of 37 amphibious landing craft.

Speer also noted Edwards’ commitment to equity for all students. She serves on the advisory board of the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs, and is a member of the Portland-based Partners in Diversity Leadership Council. She also, notably, will be the first woman of color to lead Clark College in its 87 year history.

“I have a full heart today,” Edwards said in a college news release. “I’m excited to begin a new chapter as President of Clark College and grateful to everyone at Portland Community College who has walked with me these past six years. We have a great deal to be proud of, developing programs and support services that help our students succeed.”

This story will be updated.


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