MALVERN, AR— At a special called meeting Thursday evening, College of the Ouachitas Board of Trustees announced Dr. J. Barry Ballard, a veteran community college administrator, as the College’s Interim President.
Dr. Ballard began his new position as Interim President Friday, January 15. He succeeds Dr. Stephen Schoonmaker who announced his resignation in June 2015.
Dr. Ballard previously served as the College’s President from 2000 to 2011. At the end of the special called meeting, Dr. Ballard addressed the Board and the crowd of COTO employees. He stated that he was excited for the opportunity to help the College with its search for a president. Dr. Ballard demonstrated a clear vision and plan for filling the position. He indicated the importance the College employees will have in the process, as well as the students, community representatives, and representatives from business and industry.
Dr. Ballard’s strong passion and sincerity for College of the Ouachitas was evident as he shared with the Board and audience how serving as the President at the College for eleven years was the best and most satisfying job he had ever had. He also shared that he had never worked with a better group of dedicated, competent professionals as those at COTO.
Ballard’s contract will be for a maximum of 6 months. Ballard will address College faculty and staff at 10:00 a.m. Friday morning during the College’s Spring Gathering.