SCC Board of Trustees Announce Four Finalists in Presidential Search

April 18, 2011

The St. Charles Community College Board of Trustees has named four finalists in the search for the institution’s next president.

Four candidates will visit the campus between April 26-May 2.  Groups interviewing the candidates include students, faculty, staff, administrative officers, the Board of Trustees and local community and business leaders.

“At the April 11 meeting, the Board narrowed the list of candidates from 11 to four,” said William R. Pundmann, chair of the Presidential Search Committee and president of the SCC Board of Trustees.  “We are excited to host the candidates in the coming weeks and we look forward to the selection of the third president of St. Charles Community College.”

The candidates are: Cliff Davis, M.A., vice president for institutional advancement and executive director of the OTC Foundation for Ozarks (Mo.) Technical Community College; Richard L. Dawe, Ph.D., president of Ozarka (Ark.) College; Maureen Murphy, Ph.D., president of San Jacinto College South in the San Jacinto (Tex.) Community College District; and Joseph M. Sopcich, Ph.D., executive vice president of administrative services at Johnson County (Kan.) Community College.

The college began a presidential search following the fall 2010 announcement by current president, John M. McGuire, Ph.D., who will retire in September 2011.  The Presidential Search Committee reviewed applications, narrowed 45 candidates to 11 semi-finalists and presented the names to the Board of Trustees at its regular board meeting on April 11.  The Board selected four finalists during the closed session portion of the meeting.

The Board of Trustees expects to announce the name of the next college president in May.

Editor’s Note:  Please see brief biographical information on each candidate.

Cliff DavisCLIFF DAVIS, M.A.
Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the OTC Foundation

Ozarks Technical Community College, Springfield, Mo.

Cliff Davis has served as the vice president for institutional advancement at Ozarks Technical Community College (Mo.) and executive director of the OTC Foundation since 2004.  In that time, the OTC Foundation exceeded a $10 million fund raising goal, enrollment increased by 5,000 students (in the past four years), he developed a comprehensive plan to retool OTC’s development education plan, and participated in a successful Higher Learning Commission Self-Study Report and HLC visit.

Davis previously served as acting vice president for student affairs at OTC, and at Missouri State University he was the assistant to the vice president for student affairs and assistant to the president and director of government relations.  He also served as the vice president of community development and director of Leadership Springfield for the Springfield (Mo.) Area Chamber of Commerce.  Davis has about 10 years of adjunct faculty experience in communications, marketing and public speaking.

He is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in instructional leadership and higher education administration from Lindenwood University.  Davis has a Master of Arts degree in communication management and a bachelor’s degree in business and industrial communications, both from Missouri State University.  


Richard L. DaweRICHARD L. DAWE, Ph.D. College President
Ozarka College, Melbourne, Ark.

Richard L. Dawe has served as Ozarka College president since 2009.  During his tenure, the college received 10-year accreditation with no commission follow-up visit or report required; developed a capital campaign to serve as a model for future fundraising; executed a bond sale to restructure existing debt and to build a 10,500 sq. ft. campus addition; and established a college-wide strategic and long-term planning process.

Dawe previously served as the vice chancellor for planning and organizational development in the Ventura County (Calif.) Community College District.  He was the dean of work education for College of the Ozarks (Mo.), assistant professor at the Naval Postgraduate School (Calif.) and deputy director and director/CFO for program analysis and financial management in the U.S. Transportation Command. Dawe was an officer in the U.S. Navy.  In addition to teaching at the Naval Postgraduate School, he has taught operations research, business and management at McKendree College (Ill.).

He holds a doctorate in public policy and administration from Saint Louis (Mo.) University; a master’s degree in financial management from the Naval Postgraduate School (Calif.); a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial technology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; and an Associate of Arts degree from Georgia Military College (Ark.).


Maureen MurphyMAUREEN MURPHY, Ph.D.
College President

San Jacinto College South, Houston, Tex.

Maureen Murphy has served as the president of San Jacinto (Tex.) College South since 2007.  In that time, Murphy developed and implemented a district-wide instructional recovery following Hurricane Ike; created a campus-wide data team to encourage a culture of evidence; facilitated the design of a new student services building and allied health and sciences building; and reorganized the developmental education program.

From 2003-07, she served as the vice president for instruction and student development at Rappahannock (Va.) Community College.  Previously she was the vice president for instruction and student development at Wytheville (Va.) Community College, and the dean of mathematics and communications at St. Louis (Mo.) Community College-Meramec.  She has taught college-level English, literature, writing and women’s studies for 10 years at St. Louis (Mo.) Community College, St. Charles (Mo.) Community College and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Murphy received her Ph.D. in American studies from Saint Louis (Mo.) University, a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Louisville.


Joseph SopcichJOSEPH M. SOPCICH, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President of Administrative Services

Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan.

Joseph M. Sopcich currently serves as the executive vice president of administrative services at Johnson County (Kan.) Community College. In that position he implemented a new approach to the college’s $140 million budget that resulted in $6.2 million in the reduction of expenses; turned around a declining Performance Arts Series through increased sales and by trimming expenses; and is in the final stages of a fundraising campaign for a new culinary academy.

Between 1992-2009 at JCCC, he served as the executive director of institutional advancement and later was named vice president for institutional advancement and government affairs.  He has served in development positions in such non-profit groups as the Chicago Historical Society, Family Focus of Chicago and the United Charities of Chicago (Metropolitan Family Services).  Previously he was an account executive for Leo Burnett Company.  He has been a lecturer and adjunct faculty member over a nine-year period at JCCC and the School of Education at the University of Kansas.

Sopcich earned his doctorate in governance with a minor in political science from the University of Kansas.  He has a Master’s in Business Administration with a marketing and finance concentration and Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies, both from the University of Notre Dame (Ind.).

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