Greg Hamann will leave the physical plant of Clatsop Community College in exceedingly better shape than what he inherited upon his arrival in 2003. Hamann was hired as president of CCC with the explicit mission to renew the campus. After more than a decade of failed attempts to build a new campus elsewhere, the decision to stay at the college's present site has been a good solution. Throughout the long struggle, Hamann was steadfast, with his eye on the goal.
Others outside the CCC president's office have played significant roles in assembling the financing for campus renewal. State Sen. Betsy Johnson and state Reps. Deborah Boone and Brad Witt made state appropriations happen. John Berdes, president of ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia, brought federal New Market Tax Credits to the table. And Hamann was also guided to Oregon's major charitable trusts and foundations.
In organizational leadership - public or private/corporate - there are builders and there are other kinds of creative or visionary leaders. Greg Hamann has been a builder. With Hamann's departure, the challenge for the CCC board of directors is to find a leader with the vision to take the renewed campus, its new programs such as historic preservation and assets like the nursing and arts programs and sustain them.
Clatsop College's geographical setting has unfortunately been a symptom of the college's isolation, for decades prior to Hamann's tenure. As the CCC board searches for Hamann's replacement, it would be useful to include the perspective of community and business leaders beyond the Clatsop campus confines.
Meanwhile, there will be one distinct change in this college presidential search. The CCC board will not have to apologize for the physical deterioration of the campus.