COCC President, Dr. James E. Middleton
Dr. James E. Middleton is the fourth president in Central Oregon Community College's more than 60-year history. He assumed the position in July 2004.
Dr. Middleton has served more than 30 years as a community college administrator and 10 years teaching in high schools and community colleges. Prior to coming to COCC, Dr. Middleton served as president of the College of Marin in California - from 1993 to 2003. Subsequently, he served one year as a visiting scholar at the Community College Leadership Development Initiatives at Claremont Graduate University in California. Prior to moving to Marin, he spent 11 years at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport (formally Williamsport Area Community College), first as the director of Integrated Studies for two years and then the dean and vice president of academic affairs for nine years. In Williamsport, he helped guide the college in its transformation from a local community college to a regional four-year college while retaining a strong community college program of associate degrees and short-term technical certificates.
Dr. Middleton earned a bachelor's degree in European literature and thought from the University of Iowa; a master's degree in English literature from the University of Leeds in England; a master's degree in English and an educational specialist degree in community college education from the University of Iowa; and a doctorate of arts in English language and literature from the University of Michigan.
President Middleton works closely with Oregon State University's "Cascades Campus" (housed on COCC's campus) towards strengthening the community college/university partnership to help provide bachelor degree opportunities at a cost significantly less than the traditional university pathway. At the state level, he has been appointed to the State Board of Education's Access and Affordability Working Group, the Rural Education Access Committee, and the Community College's Growth Management Committee.
Dr. Middleton currently serves on the Executive Board of the Oregon Community College Association. As COCC's President, he has helped lead the college through nationally distinctive enrollment growth of over 85% in three years, coordinated transformational changes in the college's instructional facilities, and developed public/private partnerships to provide alternative income to the college over the long term.
Middleton replaced Dr. Robert L. Barber, who served as president from 1990 to 2004. Dr. Frederick H. Boyle was president from 1967 to 1990. Dr. Don P. Pence was the first president of COCC, serving as director from 1950 to 1957 and president from 1957 to 1967.