College President Search

Through five decades, Portland Community College has evolved into the region's largest post-secondary institution, serving more than 85,000 students each year with hundreds of different programs. Across our 500 square mile district, we are providing exceptional and affordable educational opportunities—to students, to businesses and partners, and to communities.

Because of PCC's enormous scope and impact, the search for our next college president is of critical importance.

Screenshot of job posting

The PCC Board of Directors is currently conducting a national search for our college's next leader. The Board is committed to an open and inclusive process, and will provide opportunities along the way for faculty, staff, students and members of the public to offer input and insights.

To provide as much information as possible, major action steps during the search will be documented here.

This is an important decision for our community, and we welcome your participation. If at any point in the search process you have questions or comments, please contact us through Jeannie Moton, Assistant to the Board of Directors.

Download the PCC College President recruitment brochure and directly access the PCC College President job posting.

July 21, 2016

Mark Mitsui

The PCC Board of Directors today unanimously approved Mark Mitsui as Portland Community College’s next president.

Mitsui currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges for the U.S. Department of Education, advancing President Obama’s community college agenda through partnerships with federal agencies and national stakeholders. He will join PCC on September 1, 2016.

In making their announcement, Board members emphasized Mitsui's passion for the transformative power of community colleges.

"President Mitsui brings demonstrated strengths as a strategic thinker and transparent decision-maker, and he is a passionate advocate for social justice and inclusion. Coupled with his wealth of regional and national connections, he is a natural fit for PCC and one we believe will benefit the students and communities we serve." Presidential search co-chair Gene Pitts

May 31, 2016

Captioned videos of finalist forums are now available. Students, faculty, staff and community members who were unable to attend or stream a live session are encouraged to view the videos and contribute feedback via online comment forms.

Presidential Finalist Videos:

Input on the candidates can be contributed online (see below) through noon on Friday, June 3.

May 23, 2016

Students, faculty, staff and community members who have attended or live streamed the forum sessions are encouraged to give feedback.

President Finalist Forum Surveys:

May 20, 2016

Finalist forums will be streamed live May 23-27 (see the schedule posted May 16) for faculty, students, staff and community members who cannot attend in person. Instructions:

  1. Before the forum begins, check that your system is Adobe Connect ready.
  2. At the time of the forum, use this link to enter the PCC Presidential Search Finalist Forum room. Type in your first name, then click "Enter Room." Please note that the audio stream is being sent separately in an effort to keep Abobe Connect from bogging down during transmission. As a result, you will need to dial in to the audio stream separately.
  3. To access the audio stream, dial in to (877) 402-9753 and enter access code 7250148.

If you are unable to attend the forums in person but would like to submit a question for a finalist, you have three options:

  • Submit a question via the chat function of Adobe Connect
  • Submit a question via email to
  • Submit a question via twitter at #AskFuturePres

Questions will be monitored during the live forums and forwarded to the event moderator. (There may not be enough time for all questions to be answered.)

May 16, 2016

Search co-chairs Kali Thorne Ladd and Gene Pitts today announced three finalists for the position of PCC President: Mark Mitsui of Washington, D.C.; Melinda Nish of Bonita, California.; and Rassoul Dastmozd of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Brief biographies of the candidates are included in the press announcement. Each finalist is highly qualified with a breadth of experience in community college leadership.

  • Mark Mitsui

    Mark Mitsui

  • Melinda Nish

    Melinda Nish

  • Rassoul Dastmozd

    Rassoul Dastmozd

Public and student forums

PCC will welcome the candidates to Portland the week of May 23 to meet with faculty, staff, students and the community at large. All are invited to meet the finalists in person, ask questions, and offer input during public and student forums on PCC's four campuses:

Mark Mitsui
Date Time Campus Room Type
Monday, May 23 9:15am Sylvania ST 100 Open Forum
Monday, May 23 1pm Sylvania ST 100 Student Forum
Monday, May 23 2:45pm Rock Creek Event Center B Open Forum
Tuesday, May 24 8:30am Southeast Community Hall Open Forum
Tuesday, May 24 12:15pm Cascade MAHB 104 Open Forum
Melinda Nish
Date Time Campus Room Type
Wednesday, May 25 9:15am Sylvania ST 100 Open Forum
Wednesday, May 25 1pm Sylvania ST 100 Student Forum
Wednesday, May 25 3pm Cascade MAHB 104 Open Forum
Thursday, May 26 8:30am Rock Creek Event Center B Open Forum
Thursday, May 26 10:30am Southeast Community Hall Open Forum
Rassoul Dastmozd
Date Time Campus Room Type
Thursday, May 26 2pm Cascade MAHB 104 Open Forum
Thursday, May 26 4pm Rock Creek Event Center B Open Forum
Friday, May 27 9:15am Sylvania ST 100 Open Forum
Friday, May 27 1pm Sylvania ST 100 Student Forum
Friday, May 27 3pm Southeast Community Hall Open Forum

In June, former PCC President Dr. Preston Pulliams of executive search firm Goldhill Associates will facilitate sessions with the full PCC Board of Directors to evaluate the finalists. A final decision is expected this summer.

March 18, 2016

The Presidential Search Committee today announced the following anticipated search schedule:

  • Presidential profile finalized: March
  • Position posted locally and nationally: March 11
  • Applications due for best consideration: April 20
  • Initial in-person interviews: second week of May
  • Finalist interviews and on-campus forums: late May
  • Offer: summer 2016

February 19, 2016

Search Co-chairs Kali Thorne Ladd and Gene Pitts today announced the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, emphasizing the group's vital mix of perspectives and experiences. Over the next six months, this committed team of students, faculty, staff and community members will advise the PCC Board of Directors in its search for a new college leader.

Presidential Search Advisory Committee

Pamela Blumenthal,
Director, Alternative Programs
Margaret Carter,
Community Member
Kate Chester,
Director, Community Engagement
Magda D'Angelis-Morris,
Instructor, Dental Assisting
Linda Degman,
Director, PCC Bond Program
Cassandra Garcia,
Student Leader
Darilis Garcia-McMillian,
Director, Outreach, Orientation and Enrollment
Jeff Grider,
Public Safety Officer
Marion Levitan,
PCC Foundation Board Member
Neal Naigus,
Program Manager, Life by Design
David Squire,
Past PCC Board Member
Matt Stockton,
Instructor, Philosophy

February 1, 2016

Staff, faculty, students and community members unable to attend in-person forums with Gold Hill Associates were offered an opportunity to participate through an online survey.

January 15, 2016

Board today announced that Gold Hill Associates will host forums to gather input from PCC faculty, staff, students and community members about preferred qualities in the next PCC president. Former PCC President Dr. Preston Pulliams of Gold Hill will facilitate these meetings.

Information gathered at the sessions will be compiled and shared with the Search Advisory Committee. The committee will make use of this input as they draft the official presidential profile to be approved by the PCC Board and utilized throughout the search.

Times and locations for the PCC Presidential Search Forums are as follows:

Tuesday, February 2

Time Campus Location
9am Southeast Campus Great Hall
12pm Cascade Campus MAHB Auditorium
3pm Sylvania Campus Performing Arts Center
6pm Sylvania Campus CC 238/238

Wednesday, February 3

Time Campus Location
9am Downtown Center Rose Room
12pm Southeast Campus Great Hall
4pm Cascade Campus MAHB Auditorium

Thursday, February 4

Time Campus Location
9am Sylvania Campus Performing Arts Center
12pm CLIMB Auditorium
4pm Rock Creek Events Center
6pm Rock Creek Events Center

Friday, February 5

Time Campus Location
1pm Rock Creek Events Center
4pm Willow Creek Great Room

Saturday, February 6

Time Campus Location
10am Willow Creek Room 109

December 2015

The PCC Board of Directors and search consultant Gold Hill Associates have invited members of the college community to nominate colleagues to serve on the presidential search advisory committee. The Board is committed to seeking nominations that reflect PCC’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Nominees should have a broad perspective, a deep understanding of PCC’s strengths and needs, record of engagement in college affairs, the ability to maintain confidentiality, a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, and a willingness to make a significant time commitment over a six month period.

For questions, contact For additional details about applying, contact Applications are due by Tuesday, January 19 at noon.

October 26, 2015

PCC Board of Directors votes unanimously to name Gold Hill Associates, an executive search firm from Jackson, Mississippi, to lead PCC's presidential search, citing the team's:

  • deep experience with community colleges,
  • track record placing candidates from underrepresented groups,
  • scope and depth of national connections,
  • understanding of the Pacific Northwest, and
  • commitment to an open and inclusive search process.

Former PCC President Preston Pulliams is a Gold Hill principal, which puts the firm in a unique position to understand PCC's characteristics and needs.

October 2015

Board members and PCC leaders review and select three finalists. The search consultant finalists are:

Finalists will be interviewed during the October 26 board meeting.

September 23, 2015

The RFQ for a search consultant is released, with responses due October 7.

September 14, 2015

During PCC’s district-wide In-service event for all faculty and staff, Board members attend breakout sessions in which employees describe the unique character of PCC to help inform the presidential search. A summary of responses is below.

August 2015

The Board commences initial planning, reviews previous documentation, and develops an RFQ for a search consultant. The consultant's scope of work will include leading the search process, and identifying and vetting local and national candidates.

  • Staff members having a breakout discussion
  • circle of people having a breakout discussion

July 2015

PCC Board of Directors today announced that Director Gene Pitts and Director Kali Thorne-Ladd will serve as co-chairs of the search process.

  • Kali Thorne Ladd
  • Gene Pitts