Cascadia Community College names Eric Murray its next president
June 2, 2010 · Updated 2:15 PM
The Board of Trustees of Cascadia Community College has selected Dr. Eric Murray to be the next president of the college. Board Chair Kirstin Haugen announced the decision during a special meeting of the board June 1.
Dr. Murray was selected following an extensive national search. The board considered recommendations from a representative presidential search committee and comments submitted following public forums in which finalist candidates participated last week.
Dr. Murray is currently the vice president for Student Services at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. In this position since 2006, he manages all of the college’s enrollment and student services, including the Children’s Center and the Performing Arts Center. Additionally, he has led North Idaho College’s accreditation and strategic planning processes.
“We are thrilled that Dr. Murray will be the next president of Cascadia Community College. Eric is a dynamic leader who will continue to build on our strong ties to the community and our dedication to our students,” says Haugen.
Prior to working at North Idaho College, Dr. Murray held several positions at the University of Montana Western including dean of Student Affairs. In addition to administrative positions, Dr. Murray also has taught courses in psychology.
“The opportunity to serve Cascadia is exciting. The faculty and staff have shown themselves to be dedicated to the college’s success and I look forward to investing myself in the campus and local communities,” says Dr. Murray.
Dr. Murray earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology at UCLA, along with a bachelor’s degree in Germanic languages.
Dr. Murray is expected to start July 26. He replaces Dr. Bill Christopher, who is retiring at the end of June after serving as Cascadia’s president for five years. During Dr. Christopher’s tenure, Cascadia achieved accreditation and was ranked the No. 2 community college in the U.S. by Washington Monthly magazine.
“The board is incredibly thankful for Dr. Christopher's service and contribution to Cascadia. He will be greatly missed,” says Haugen.
Cascadia Community College is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The college has experienced an average of 6-percent growth in enrollment each year since it opened in 2000. Cascadia serves students with academic transfer classes, professional technical programs, adult basic education and English as a second language classes, worker retraining and continuing education programs. Cascadia’s new Global Learning and the Arts building opened this year. The building, which is expected to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum certification, is the college’s first expansion project. Its classrooms, computer labs, art studios and performance spaces made it possible for Cascadia to serve nearly 20 percent more students this year, many who came back to school in response to the downturn in the economy.