By Kai Vieira de Rosa
Ed Harri, was selected Interim Vice President for Instruction on April 3, 2017 after Whatcom’s past Vice President for Instruction, Curt Freed, moved to Colorado to fill a presidency position at Morgan Community College.
Harri has been selected to oversee the faculty budgeting and board meetings until the selection process for a permanent Vice President for Instruction is completed.
“This position needs someone responsible, who can be trusted to compile the budget of the instructional area, which is a sizeable portion of our budget,” Harri said.
Harri has worked at Whatcom for 18 years now, as a math professor and department chair of math and science.
“Right now I’m the dean of instruction as well as the Interim vice president for instruction, so supporting faculty in moving towards the instructional direction of the college was easy to step into,” Harri said. “These are things that I’ve been working on for years.”
Harri said he is used to working with students at Whatcom due to his past as a math professor.
“That’s actually what I miss most about teaching,” Harri said. “That direct day to day connection with the students.”
According to Whatcom Horizon’s 2013 Ed Harri Profile: Dean for Instruction by Taylor Nichols, Harri’s position as the Dean for Instruction involves gathering basic information about the student body and college that aren’t often noticed by the public.
“This work includes tracking student success and enrollment rate, adding and removing classes, and making sure the college is eligible for financial aid,” Nichols said.
As Interim Vice President for Instruction, Harri doesn’t have a direct connection with students on a day to day basis, but he does oversee connections.
“I don’t really have any formal way for regular interaction with lots of students,” Harri said. “But a lot of committees that I’m involved with at the college also involve students as a part of that.”
Harri is co-leading Whatcom’s Strategic Planning Process where he works with two student reps, Elisa Bong and Yohaly Camacho, who provide student voice about the students needs and interests.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with student leadership and talk about student goals for the college, our goals for the college, and how we can support each other,” Harri said.
Harri plans on keeping a close connection with students as he fills the vice presidency job.
Harri has also been attending grad school for the past two and a half years, working on a doctorate in educational leadership at Oregon State University.
“I’m done with all my course work now, I’m just in dissertation phase at this point,” Harri said.
“The job is not the most glamourous, it’s filled with lots of meeting, and a lot of time writing,” Harri said. “But I’m doing what I’m passionate about.”