MASON CITY --- North Iowa Area Community College President Debra Derr has accepted a position as president of Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Ore., Derr said Sunday.
“For me, coming back to Portland is an opportunity to come back to my family,” Derr said by phone from Oregon. “Portland’s where I spent most of my career. To be able to give back to the college is very exciting.”
Her mother, children and grandchildren all live there, she said.
Derr, who is 56, assumes her new duties July 1. Her contract at NIACC ends June 30.
Derr has been president at NIACC since July 2008.
She said the members of the NIACC Board of Directors had received information before her hiring was published Saturday in The Oregonian newspaper in Portland.
“I love NIACC,” she said, “and I’m really proud of the work we’ve done over the last five years. I appreciate the support I’ve gotten from the (North Iowa) community.”
Derr grew up in Oregon and had worked for 15 years at Mt. Hood Community College, located in a suburb of Portland.
She announced in March that she had been named a finalist for the position at Mt. Hood. The college’s board of directors narrowed the field from 38 applicants to three finalists in mid-March.
A press release from the board of directors said the board was impressed with Derr’s credentials and her strong connection to the college and to the community.
The college serves about 32,000 full- and part-time students and employs nearly 600 faculty and 900 staff.