RCC President Announces Leadership Restructure

Grants Pass, OR – Rogue Community College (RCC) President Cathy Kemper-Pelle is implementing a restructure of college leadership roles and reporting lines, and will complete the process by her final day serving as the college’s president on June 30th. The RCC Board of Education has affirmed the decision, supported by a majority of members.

Following a four-year, college-wide effort to implement a “Guided Pathways” education model, Kemper-Pelle is centralizing leadership between academic affairs and student services. “Guided Pathways is a nationally proven best practice that dramatically improves student access, learning and completion of clear educational pathways leading to transfer and employment,” said Kemper-Pelle.

The leadership restructure will now unify two divisions under a single, soon-to-be-retitled Vice President, eliminating the prior Vice President of Student Affairs position. Staff within the previously separate divisions of Student Affairs and Academic Affairs will form a single team focused on student success.  The current Vice President of Academic Affairs, Juliet Long, will assume the new position.

“The traditional structure of separating student services and academic faculty into separate reporting chains is not conducive to the level of collaboration needed to successfully implement our Guided Pathways approach to student success,” said Kemper-Pelle.

While the college also recently underwent a prioritization process to identify and budget for only the most necessary academic programs and services, this leadership change was based on aligning the college structure with proven methods of increasing student success and was a separate decision-making process, according to Kemper-Pelle.

“This structure will bring together under one vice president all RCC employees directly responsible for the student experience, where they can more readily form cross functional teams. Cross-functional teams that constantly engage student services staff and academic faculty are proven to create the best student experience possible,” said Kemper-Pelle. Student support services will concurrently be augmented by the addition of a second dean position.

Responding to a letter to the Board of Education from a small cohort of classified staff who expressed concerns about the restructure, Board Chair Roger Stokes said, “We recognize the concerns of some of our classified staff who are used to working under the previous structure. We also, as a majority, recognize that the reorganization will be a more effective leadership model to support the goals of the college and our students.” The Board received the letter, signed by 36 classified staff, in their May 17 Board meeting packet. The letter’s signatories represented just under 25% of the 149 classified bargaining unit members.

According to Kemper-Pelle, the model being implemented is already in place at both Clackamas and Linn Benton Community Colleges as well as many colleges across the country.  

According to Stokes, incoming RCC President Randy Weber, who will begin his term on July 1, 2022, “has been informed of the decision and is very familiar with the leadership structure and its proven success in relation to maximizing the effectiveness of Guided Pathways for student success.”

For additional information, contact Julie Raefield, Community and Government Relations Coordinator, Public Information Officer, at (541) 956-7319 or jraefielg@roguecc.edu.

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For general media inquiries, please contact Julie Raefield, M.A., Public Information Officer, Community and Government Relations Coordinator, at 541-956-7319, jraefield@roguecc.edu.