New VPs named

New Vice President of Instruction and Vice President of Student Affairs will serve in crucial roles on the college’s leadership team      

Vice President of Student Affairs Michele Cruse and Vice President of Instruction Paul Wickline

After a nationwide search, Clark College has announced the hiring of two new members of its Executive Cabinet. Dr. Michele Cruse was named Vice President of Student Affairs and Paul Wickline was named Vice President of Instruction. Dr. Cruse is starting in the position in November and Paul Wickline will begin on January 3, 2022.

“These are two crucial roles at the college, overseeing the two units with the most direct contact with our students—either in class settings or through student services,” said Clark College President Karin Edwards. “Michele and Paul are both highly qualified professionals who will be able to provide leadership and stability to the college.”

Both positions were filled after nationwide job searches and extensive interviews with hiring committees, college leadership, and open forums with the college community.

About Dr. Michele Cruse 

Dr. Michele Cruse has been serving as Interim Vice President of Student Affairs at Clark College since October 2020. Prior to coming to Clark, she served as Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs and Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Experiential Education at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in Pennsylvania. A native Pittsburgher, Dr. Cruse earned her associate degree from the Community College of Allegheny County, her bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh, her master’s degree in public administration and nonprofit management from Portland State University, and her doctorate in community college leadership from the Oregon State University.

Dr. Cruse’s work experience includes both faculty and staff positions at Portland Community College, including dean of student development. She has owned her own business and served as co-founder of an organization focused on workshops and education for community members, women, disenfranchised youth, and those in alternative education.

At Clark College, Dr. Cruse leads Student Affairs, a unit that includes a wide range of services and programs including enrollment services, athletics, career services, international programs, financial aid, disability support, the Veterans Resource Center, and the Counseling and Health Center, among others.

Dr. Cruse lives in Vancouver with her husband, Michael. They have three adult children.

“I am very excited and feel very honored to work alongside dedicated Clark College leaders as the Vice President of Student Affairs,” said Dr. Cruse. “It’s my ultimate goal to ensure that we provide students with a campus environment where every student feels valued, respected, and included while pursuing their academic goals.”

About Paul Wickline 

Paul Wickline brings with him many years of experience in both teaching and leading in a variety of educational settings. He began his educational journey at Edmonds Community College studying vocal music. From there, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Education degree from Western Washington University and his Master of Education degree from Central Washington University. He is currently working on his doctoral dissertation in the Higher Education Leadership program at Portland State University.

Wickline began his teaching career as a high school English and drama teacher in Walla Walla, Washington. He then began teaching theatre at Walla Walla Community College. In 2008, he moved to the College of the Canyons in Southern California, where he served in a series of roles that brought increased leadership: faculty member, department chair, faculty outcomes and assessment coordinator, Academic Senate President, dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Assistant Vice President of Educational Pathways, and finally Associate Vice President of Instruction. He is a past faculty fellow of the Association of American Colleges and Universities Collaborative Project and a mentor in the Association of California Community Colleges Association mentorship program.

Wickline and his wife, Karol Matson, are relocating to the Vancouver area this winter.

“I am humbled and honored to serve alongside the exceptional faculty, staff, and administrators as the next Vice President of Instruction at Clark College,” Wickline said. “Clark College has an outstanding reputation for providing students with quality career and academic preparation to meet the evolving needs of community, business, and industry. I look forward to collaborating with Clark colleagues to best support our students.”

This article originally misidentified the institution where Dr. Cruse earned her doctorate. It was corrected on Nov. 22.