Campus president placed on paid leave
Officials at the Bend college were not aware of his leave status when he visited for a round of interviews and get-acquainted sessions in March. When they learned of it, they decided to drop him from consideration and launch a new search.
Chemeketa public relations officer Greg Harris confirmed that College President Cheryl Roberts had placed Lanning on leave in February. He said he was not at liberty to discuss her reasoning.
Lanning, whose salary is listed at $153,561, also served as chief academic officer for the Yamhill Valley Campus — the only branch operation in the four-county system carrying full campus status. However, he never physically relocated to McMinnville from Chemeketa’s home base in Salem.
Jim Eustrom, Chemeketa’s executive dean for student affairs, has been named acting president and chief academic officer of the local campus. A 30-year veteran, he ranks third in the college hierarchy.
That makes it a clean sweep at the top in McMinnville, as longtime associate dean Holly Nelson was promoted to the local campus’ dean earlier this year. She replaced John Plett, who retired after 14 years, as head of daily operations. (See related story)
In his role as president of Chemeketa’s McMinnville operation, a fully accredited satellite campus, Lanning was physically engaged on a weekly basis and remotely engaged by phone and computer on a daily basis, according to Harris. He said Lanning was responsible for creating the vision and carrying it out.
Despite his involuntary leave status, Lanning recently participated in an International Community Service in Action exercise in Nicaragua in conjunction with a class he is taking. That earned him recognition by Roberts at the college governing board’s Wednesday meeting.
The team repaired a health clinic, built and installed a set of bio-sand water filters, paid health visits to chronically ill patients and staged educational workshops in the remote community of San Jose de La Mula. Because he was participating as a student rather than a college executive, he would have had to use some of his vacation time had he not been placed on leave, Harris said.