Dr. Marta Cronin announces CGCC departure

Dr. Marta Yera Cronin, president of Columbia Gorge Community College since July 2018, has announced her pending resignation, effective June 30, 2023.

“After much discussion and serious consideration, my husband and I have decided to relocate back to the East Coast for family-related reasons,” Dr. Cronin wrote in a message to staff and faculty on Jan. 10. “Know that this was not an easy decision. CGCC is a wonderful institution with really dedicated faculty and staff. I have enjoyed working with you and getting to know many of you. I look forward to watching CGCC continue to evolve and thrive.”

Dr. Cronin, who was previously vice president of academic affairs at Indian River State College in Florida, became the third president since CGCC was established in 1977. During her tenure at CGCC, the college completed the Columbia Gorge Regional Skills Center and Chinook Student Residence Hall, launched new career-technical programs in advanced manufacturing, construction trades and aviation technician training, and secured federal funding to expand the college’s nursing simulation lab and acquire state-of-the-art additive manufacturing equipment.

Approval for an innovative, accelerated model for preparing medical assistants is also nearing regulatory approval, augmenting the college’s longstanding medical assistant program while helping address a critical shortage of healthcare staff in the Columbia River Gorge.

Dr. Cronin serves on the board of the Rural Community College Association and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and University, the accrediting authority for institutions of higher education across the Pacific Northwest.

“All of us on the board have confidence in the leadership team, and staff at the college, that the transition will be smooth and Dr. Cronin’s legacy will endure,” said Tim Arbogast, board chair.

Coincidentally, last week also marked an announcement of departure by Wendy Patton, executive director of Columbia Gorge Community College Foundation. Patton, who joined the college two years ago, has accepted a position with Central Oregon Community College Foundation in Bend. Patton will be leaving CGCC next month.

CGCC board members will schedule a special meeting this month to determine next steps in selecting a successor for Dr. Cronin. The board expressed its appreciation to Dr. Cronin at Tuesday’s board meeting for her extended notice of departure. A search will also be under way for the foundation director.