Orange Coast College President Dennis Harkins announces plan to retire at end of semester

by in News

Orange Coast College President Dennis Harkins has announced his retirement effective at the end of the fall semester, ending a nine-year stint leading the campus.

Harkins made the announcement in a note to the OCC community:

“When I first arrived at Coast, the College was recovering from two significant setbacks — the Great Recession and an accreditation warning in 2008,” he wrote. “It was a tumultuous time, to say the least, but it was also an opportunity to position Orange Coast College for ever greater success.”

Harkins is the third-longest-serving president in the 70-year history of OCC.

The Coast Community College District plans to begin a search for his successor in October, with a new president expected to be in place in July.

“Dr. Harkins has been president of Orange Coast College during a time of great change,” Mary Hornbuckle, president of the Coast Community College Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “He has had oversight of the development of the Math and Computing Center, the Planetarium and the Recycling Center. He has helped to get student housing, a new student center and an aquatics center moving along.

“He has left his mark on OCC and we are better for it.”