MCC president finalist to visit


After an exhaustive search resulting in three well-qualified finalists for president, Miles Community College will welcome the first finalist to campus next week.

“I am very excited about the quality of the finalists, and really, the candidates overall,” said MCC Human Resources Director and search committee member Kylene Phipps. “The three finalists are familiar with the region and our western heritage. All three have a lot to bring to the table, not only to the campus, but the community as well.”

Dan Koopman, associate vice president of instruction at Blue Mountain Community College, Oregon, will arrive on campus Nov. 4. A community forum is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 5, at MCC beginning at 5:30 p.m. Koopman said he’s excited to visit Miles City and is looking forward to the opportunity to meet members of the community.

“I really am sold on rural-serving community colleges,” Koopman said about the position. “I’ve been involved in rural college work since my induction into higher education in 2004. The rural communities, I feel, are unique and provide a great community atmosphere.” 

Koopman began his career in higher education in 2004, after 20 years in the K-12 arena as a teacher and building principal. His first position in higher education was as faculty and later an administrator at Oglala Lakota College in South Dakota. Koopman has played a vital role in strategic planning, program review, strategic enrollment management initiatives and student success practices.  

He’s been a collaborative facilitator with a track record of successful partnerships between colleges and workforce partners in the promotion of career technical programs and student success. 

He has also been an institutional ambassador to local and state educational agencies.

As a strong advocate for data-driven decision-making in college programming, Koopman has experience with industry and university systems relating to articulation agreements, internships, and transfer degree programs. Koopman’s expertise lies in strategic enrollment, student persistence and student success. 

“With MCC, I would be able to partner with what I believe to be an outstanding team that’s been developed over time with previous presidents,” he said. “I understand that workforce training and the career technical education piece MCC provides to a community that has a lot of industry, especially in the natural resource area, is something I feel I can really contribute to. I’m excited about the opportunity.”

Phipps said Koopman has an impressive resume, and would be a good fit if ultimately chosen.

“Dan Koopman has a proven track record of successful partnerships between colleges and workforce partners in career technical programs,” Phipps said. “He has an appreciation for western culture and the western way of life. He also brings experience with development ed and career technical programs, as well as a strong background in the K-12 arena.”