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Merced College Selects Two Administrators for Dean Level Positions

May 3, 2007

The Merced College Board of Trustees has announced the selection of two successful candidates for the position of Dean of Instruction. The Trustees made their announcement during the May 1 meeting of the Board.

Dr. Robert Taylor and Dr. Robert Anderson will join the academic administrative team under Dr. John Spevak, vice president of Instruction, said Merced College President Dr. Benjamin T. Duran.

"In today's climate where finding well prepared and experienced educational administrators in increasingly difficult, we were fortunate to be able to find these two individuals in an unusually talented pool of applicants,” Dr. Duran said. “Merced College is fortunate to be able to secure the services of both of these gentlemen. We look forward to long and mutually rewarding careers at our college for both of these new deans."

Dr. Taylor has spent 18 years in various levels of education, including administration, classroom instruction, and student services. He has been involved in accreditation, legislative affairs, program certification, and curriculum design. Dr. Taylor has also worked as a consultant with the state Department of Education. Prior to coming to Merced College, his most recent position was serving as the Dean and Director of Curriculum and Instructional Support Services at Umpqua community College in Roseburg, Oregon. He has a doctoral degree in Philosophy from Colorado State University.

Dr. Taylor has extensive involvement in community-based programs, including the United Way, Little League Baseball, Special Olympics, Chamber of Commerce, and Habitat for Humanity.

Dr. Anderson comes to Merced College from Clovis East High School where he served as a Learning Director responsible for managing six school academies and the Regional Occupational Program (ROP). He was responsible for teacher evaluation, curriculum resources, and grant management. He has a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Management form the University of La Verne.

Dr. Anderson also served as the administrator in charge of the Performing Arts Academy at Clovis East High School, which included oversight of the choir, band, drama department, orchestra, and other arts programs. In April 2003, he led more than 100 choir students to compete in the World Projects Tour in New York. The choir earned a gold medal in the competition, which allowed the students to compete in Hawaii in 2005. He has been actively involved in the Fresno State University Basketball Alumni Association, Boys and Girls Club, and Big Brothers and Sisters.

"I am pleased that we have selected two persons with talent, expertise, and enthusiasm. One of the strengths of both of the new deans is their interest in working closely with faculty,” said Dr. John Spevak. “They both also share a passion for student success."

The new Deans replace Harry Gossett, who is retiring at the end of June, and Mike Cuchna, who moved into an associate vice president position at the College.

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