Following a national search, a committee has narrowed the field of candidates to be Hagerstown Community College’s next vice president of Academic Affairs to four people, including the current executive director of the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown.
The successful candidate will replace current vice president of Academic Affairs, Judith Oleks, who plans to retire this summer, according to emailed information from HCC.
David Warner III has been executive director of USMH since it opened in January 2005. He previously was a director of instruction at HCC. Before that, he was chairman of HCC’s Humanities Division and a professor of music.
The four finalists — who will be asked to participate in on-campus interviews later this month — were chosen from an initial pool of 88 applicants, HCC officials said.
“We were fortunate to have a large and well-qualified group of applicants for this critical position,” HCC President Guy Altieri said in the email. “The four who made the cut stood out from the others because their experiences best align with the vision we have set for HCC to continue its strong program and related enrollment growth well into the future.”
Asked Wednesday about his consideration for the position, Warner said he decided to apply after hearing about the opening from friends at HCC.
He said he loves his job at USMH, but feels the campus is well-positioned to continue to move forward should he be offered the opportunity to return to HCC.
“It’s very important to me that people don’t think that I’m very actively trying to get out of here,” Warner said. “(USMH) has been my baby. I started this from the ground up, and opened it, and I’m not really anxious to leave it, but at the same time the job at HCC is an exciting one.”
Warner said many current projects at HCC, including the expansion of Kepler Theater and the construction of a new Arts and Sciences Complex, were dreams of his, and he would like to be part of seeing them realized.
“I feel really fortunate to be in a position to have a chance at that job, but also, if I don’t get it, to stay in a job I really enjoy being in,” he said.
In addition to Warner, the finalists include Marvin Blachman, Ph.D., of Pulaski, N.Y., dean for liberal arts at Jefferson Community College in Watertown, N.Y.; Pamela Monaco, Ph.D., of Trabuco Canyon, Calif, dean of arts and sciences at Brandman University in Irvine, Calif.; and Billie Unger, Ed.D., of Martinsburg, W.Va., dean, School of Liberal Arts and Transitional Studies at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg.
Warner holds a doctorate in Community College Education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a master’s degree in music from Towson University and a bachelor’s degree in secondary music education from Shepherd College, according to information provided at the time he was named USMH executive director. He also attended Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Applications are still being reviewed and the search for a new vice president of Academic Affairs is ongoing until the post is filled, HCC said.
The college expects to announce the appointment of the new vice president in July.
Staff Writer Heather Keels contributed to this story.