Q&A with Clackamas Community College President Tim Cook (WITH VIDEO)
Tim Cook, the new president of Clackamas Community College, was kind enough to sit down with the staff of The Clackamas Print on Friday, Sept. 28 for an in-depth interview pertaining to his acclimation to the campus, his plans to seize opportunities at CCC and his choice of music.
TCP: How has your transition and meeting some of the staff been?
Cook: The transition’s been great. They had a whole transition plan for me when I got here.
TCP: Have you enjoyed meeting the staff?
Cook: When I started in July I came onto campus and all the offices had bow ties. They’d taken this red template of these bow ties and people had written messages to me. So all I did that first week was walk around and take pictures because there was probably 500 bow ties.
TCP: Are you an OC native? How does it feel to be back?
Cook: It’s a little surreal to be honest with you. I grew up in Oregon City. I went to Holcomb Grade School and Ogden Junior High and graduated from Oregon City High School. My parents still live here in town in the house they’ve lived in for nearly 50 years.
TCP: Where did you go to college?
Cook: Western Oregon University.
TCP: Is it true you run marathons?
Cook: I’ve done 29. I’m trying to run one in every state. I’ve run 18 different states. My last (was) in Kauai, Hawaii. I did Anchorage, Alaska, at the end of June.
TCP: Did you hope to one day be a college president?
Cook: This isn’t a job I was aspiring to. I didn’t think I was gonna be a college president one day. I started working at Clark College in the 90s as a counselor. I really thought I would do that job forever.
TCP: What are some of CCC’s strong points?
Cook: Faculty, staff, students really care about this place and they care about each other. I learned that right off the bat.
TCP: How does tuition at Clark, your former college, compare to CCC?
Cook: It’s hard to do a straight comparison. You’ll have to do the research on this and tell me if I’m right or wrong. I think it was $105 an hour, it could’ve been a $108 an hour at Clark. Ours is $100 and it just went up to $100 this year and it went up from $93 which is a big jump, why I hesitate on that is you can’t just look at tuition. You have to look at fees.
TCP: Is there anything you want to change about CCC?
Cook: What I’ve been understanding from folks is that we’re kind of the best kept secret in town. People feel really good about us but no one really knows what we can do, so, I look at that as an opportunity to really get the word out. We are one of the most under-served areas for education, meaning there are a lot of people in this community that aren’t going to college that could be coming. I see that as another opportunity to get people here.
TCP: You’re really into vinyl records?
Cook: Now we’re getting serious. I think I have four record players and a jukebox at home; I have alot of vinyl and I’m really into 45s now. So I bring in records to play in the office. I have a couple hundred holiday albums cause I collect that weird kind of stuff. I’ll probably host some holiday dance parties up in the office.
TCP: Do you feel like CCC does a good job of emphasizing both athletic and arts programs?
Cook: Yeah I do. I have been incredibly impressed impressed with the theater program here. One of my favorite places about this campus is all of the sculpture art. On nice days like these one of my favorite things to do is just wander around. Our wrestling team has won five national titles, they’re amazing. I think there’s a good balance