OCCC President Search

Greetings from the Board

Thank you for your interest in OCCC. Here you’ll find more about our amazing college, the county we serve, and the position of President itself. Our Board of Education created the Profile of the Next President, found below, with engagement and input from faculty and staff. We hope the Profile and the other resources provided here help you learn more about our institution – just as we look forward to learning more about you.
– Rich Emery, Board Chair


A Letter from President Ryslinge

Dr. Birgitte Ryslinge  |  May 2024

Dear Colleague,

For the past 10 years, I have had the honor and privilege of serving as the President of Oregon Coast Community College (OCCC) in Lincoln County, Oregon.  I am now retiring and working with our Board of Education to find the next president for OCCC. Might that be you?

On this page, as well as throughout the college website, we present a wealth of information.  Below you’ll find links to the Profile of OCCC’s Next President, the 2023-2028 College Strategic Plan, and information about Lincoln County.  From these you will learn that OCCC is one of the smallest community colleges in Oregon, is located in a rural region, and that the president reports to an elected Board. With this letter, I hope to augment that information with my own perspective of why for the right leader, OCCC could be an amazing choice. 

If you have engaged in any “Road to the Presidency” professional development, you understand the importance of fit between the president and the institution.  If you are considering OCCC, I hope it is because you truly want to lead a small rural community college.  Another aspect of fit relates to stage in organization development. Although founded in 1987, the college only became independently accredited in 2020, and is now in year five of its first seven-year accreditation cycle (NWCCU).  

Rainbow over Newport Campus
Birgitte Ryslinge
Dr. Birgitte Ryslinge

Primary challenges for the next President include: the institutionalization and continuous improvement of the operational systems developed in the accreditation process; the programmatic build-out (curricular and facilities) described in the College Strategic Plan; and the transition to a more mature and stable organizational culture dedicated to student success. These three challenges require a leader who will be attentive to the details of system-building, hold an entrepreneur mindset, and be a culture builder.  I invite you to ask yourself, are you excited by each of these very different roles? All will deserve not just your attention, but your joyful engagement for the next five years or longer.


I chose a small rural college because I hoped certain things would be true, and I am happy to say they have been, often exceeding my highest expectations.  In this small college, I have seen up close our impact on student lives, in ways not always possible at larger institutions.  Contrary to my experience at larger institutions, I have been able to ensure that good ideas were supported through to implementation, allowing us to see results often times within a year.  And while I have always gravitated towards opportunities for partnership and collaboration, I have never encountered a richer place in that regard than Lincoln County.  If you lead OCCC, you will be welcomed and supported by county and regional leaders across industry, elected officials, non-profits, and community organizations. Again, ask yourself whether these intrinsic rewards of seeing impact and community collaboration will sustain you through the many challenges that come with the life of a community college president.

If you are the successful applicant, you will be joining the college at a truly opportune time. OCCC was one of the first Oregon community colleges to regain pre-pandemic enrollment, and we have been growing since.  The current academic year, 2023-2024, saw an almost 11 percent enrollment growth over the prior year.  The five-year Strategic Plan (2023-2028) charts the course for expansion into new programming that emphasizes advanced trades and the Blue Economy. Work is already underway expanding services in these vital areas; a new Pre-Apprenticeship for Construction Trades program, funded by a Future Ready Oregon grant and supported by an impressive group of partner agencies, launches in the Fall of ’24. OCCC has already been awarded almost $2 million in grants specific to that work.  On May 21, 2024, Lincoln County voters overwhelmingly passed a $33 million capital construction measure which will bring in an additional $8 million in state matching funds to construct a new trades education building and revitalize and reinvest in existing college facilities across Lincoln County.

I hope this letter has grown your understanding of what leadership of OCCC could include. If the demands and joys I have outlined here inspire and resonate with you, and your qualifications align with the ‘Profile of the Next President,’ I hope that you will submit your application.