Jackson State Community College interviews final candidate for president
JACKSON, Tenn. — Jackson State Community College held its final virtual interview Wednesday afternoon with Dr. Jeff Jochems, president of the Richmond Valley branch of Ozarks Technical Community College in Missouri.
“I think my time spent as a campus president and my varied other experiences across the different parts of the college have made me a good candidate for a college president,” Jochems said.
He says he helped start that campus for Ozarks Technical Community College, and compared it to Jackson State, saying there are several similarities including the use of satellite campuses.
“They can play a huge role in that community and that area to provide education opportunities for people who may not otherwise be able to travel to the main or larger campus,” Jochems said.
He touched on external support, which officials say is crucial to Jackson State, and explained a situation in which he got a donor for OTCC.
“That represented a $2.6 million gift to the institution at the time, and the two buildings, which we renovated and are using as one of our satellite campuses,” Jochems said.
He also addressed some steps taken to help close the equity gap for minorities and underrepresented students on the campus of OTCC, including doing away with placement testing and opting for self-guided placement.
“We were not satisfied with our data on our standardized tests and how it was placing students into developmental education, especially those from underrepresented minority groups,” Jochems said.
He discussed the importance of student athletes and support of athletic programs as well.
“My role is to get out and be at as many of those events as I can be and be supportive of our programs, our coaches and the student athletes,” Jochems said.
Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Tydings will review the surveys after the submission deadline Friday afternoon, then meet with the candidates and make her recommendation to the board.