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Central Wyoming College Board Chair Charlie Krebs has announced the search for the institution’s next president has been narrowed to three finalists who have been invited to campus April 15-16 for public presentations and interviews with the trustees.

A screening committee of 19, which included board members, college staff, alumni and community members, recommended the three finalists after a nationwide search was conducted.

The finalists have been identified as Dr. Paul Kraft, currently the Vice President of Student Services for Treasure Valley Community College in Oregon, Dr. Jason Wood, CWC’s Executive Vice President for Student and Academic Services, and Dr. Cristobal Valdez, who is now the President of Edison Community College in Ohio.

The board began the search for a new president when Dr. Jo Anne McFarland, who has been president of CWC since 1989, announced in January her plans to retire at the end of June. She has been employed by CWC for more than 40 years.

Each candidate is invited to visit with campus constituents and individually make presentations on April 15. The public forums are to be held in the CWC gymnasium. The seven members of the CWC Board interview the candidates on April 16, Krebs said.

Dr. Kraft, who previously served as Dean of Student Services for the University of New Mexico’s Gallup campus, is scheduled to present at 2 p.m. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Sociology, a Master of Science in Counseling and Guidance from Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., and a Doctor of Education in Adult and Higher Education Administration from Montana State University in Bozeman.

Before joining the staff at CWC, Dr. Wood previously served as Dean for Student Services at Klamath Community College in Oregon. His presentation is scheduled for 3 p.m. Wood earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah, a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Idaho in Coeur d’Alene, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Community College Leadership – Rural Community College Issues from Oregon State University in Corvallis.

Dr. Valdez, who previously served as provost for the Detroit Lakes campus and the Wadena campus, and was interim vice president of Student Affairs for Minnesota State Community and Technical College, presents at 4 p.m. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Generalist Social Work Practice from the University of Montana, a Masters of Social Work from Eastern Washington University, and a Doctor of Education from Oregon State University’s Community College Leadership Program.

In a letter to staff, Krebs said at the close of the public forum, all those in attendance have an opportunity to provide comment on each candidate. Feedback forms, he said, will be collected immediately and shared with the entire board. The board chair also thanked the search committee for its “dedication, commitment and hard work.”

Images from left: Dr. Valdez, Dr. Kraft, Dr. Wood