On Feb. 21 Clark named Dr. Karin Edwards, our new president of the school. Her career spans from 36 years at community colleges and was the president of Portland Community College from 2014 to 2020.
As she comes into Clark the goals she wants to accomplish align with Clark’s plan to transition back into in-person classes. She said, “The most immediate for me is assisting with the reopening of the college or transitioning back to on ground instruction and operation.”
In addition to that Dr. Edwards explains that there is the need to look at students’ success carefully and how well the students are experiencing Clark and if they’re meeting their goals. She said, “It’s not just at Clark it’s across the country. Particularly students of color don’t experience the college environment the same way. It’s incumbent for us to provide an environment that promotes success for all students.”
Another goal she included is to help get through the traumatic experiences the school has faced the last couple of years and create an environment that is welcoming and is inclusive and is supportive for everybody who comes here to work or learn.
“I believe Clark is a strong college and is a next step in my career progression”- Dr. Edwards
Dr. Sachi Horback, Vice President of the office of instruction at Clark who has been working there for two years said, “My focus and the college’s focus has really been on equitable access for students retention and success…..and saying what parts or processes around the college do we need to change to ensure we are moving the needle.”
Dr. Horback also explained she wants to see students of color moving into high demand areas and wants to make sure students of color and other marginalized populations are represented in things such as nursing programs and dental hygiene programs.
The number of students of Color at Clark is 34%. The number of faculty and staff of color is 16.68%.
Dr. Horback has experience working to support the faculty of color and has been a part of her work long before she came to Clark. She has helped create a cross institution faculty of color mentorship program which is a statewide program that was constructed to help realize one institution can’t do this on their own. The mentorship program identifies a supportive piece to retain folk of color.
She was also involved with the early works of the program D.E.H.D which is diversity and equity and hiring development. It is a 17 step program that helps people understand what the job is they’re applying for and helps the people involved with this program understand the applicants and what they need to do to fulfill their needs.
Dr. Horback also said that the racial and ethnic diversity in the job pool the last six months has been statistically significant.
Dr. Edwards added to that saying the faculty and staff should reflect at least the student population. As it helps reflect the students and community that is served but also provides a rich learning environment and it helps give the opportunity to hear and learn different perspectives