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A Unique Leadership Opportunity

The Board of Trustees of Ocean County College (OCC), New Jersey, invites nominations and applications of candidates to serve as the next President, a wonderful opportunity for a talented professional to lead and to serve a thriving community college.

Presidential Selection

It is with great pleasure that I announce the selection of Dr. Pamela Monaco as the next President of Ocean County College.  Dr. Monaco will begin her new role on July 1, 2023.  Throughout the search process, Dr. Monaco impressed the Search Committee and the Board of Trustees with her dedication to educational excellence and her long-standing commitment to meeting the diverse needs of the students she serves.

Dr. Monaco is an accomplished administrator who brings more than thirty years of experience in higher education to OCC.  Dr. Monaco currently serves as the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Wilbur Wright College in Chicago, Illinois.  In addition to this position, she held senior leadership roles in higher education institutions in Kansas, California, and Florida.  Dr. Monaco earned a Ph.D. in English and a Master of Arts degree in English from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.; and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

A passionate advocate for community colleges, Dr. Monaco believes that education transforms lives, and she has consistently demonstrated her commitment to removing the barriers that stand in the way of student success.  The Board is confident that Dr. Monaco will be a dynamic and proactive leader at OCC, one who shares our values and goals for the future and whose strategic vision and collaborative spirit will position the College to thrive and excel in the years ahead.

On behalf of the Board, I want to express my appreciation to the Search Committee for its time and efforts and to the entire College community for participating in the process that led to the selection of Dr. Monaco.  The Board expects to ratify her appointment at its next meeting on December 8.

I hope you will join me in extending congratulations and a warm welcome to Dr. Monaco as we begin this new chapter at Ocean County College.

Jerry Dasti, Chair
OCC Board of Trustees

Presidential Finalists

The Ocean County College (OCC) Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that we have selected three finalists for the presidency of OCC. We would like to thank the entire College community for your continued interest and support in the process to identify our next President. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank each member of the Presidential Search Committee for their exceptional insight, work, and effort.

A link to the CV as well as the full schedule for each candidate is be posted on the Presidential Search Webpage.  We invite and encourage everyone to participate in the open forums. There will be an introduction of each candidate, followed by a question-and-answer session. Forums will be conducted in-person and via WebEx.

We are looking forward to a successful completion of the presidential search process. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to our ACCT Search Consultant: Bradley Ebersole, Ph.D., ACCT Search Consultant,, or (740) 538-7989 (mobile).

The OCC presidential finalists are (in alphabetical order):

Joseph Konopka, Ph.D.
Vice President of Academic Affairs at Ocean County College in Toms River, NJ.

Open Forum:  Monday, November 7, 2022, 2:30 – 4:00 pm, Gateway 104 Auditorium.

Webinar topic:
Presidential Finalist – Public Forum

Date and time:
Monday, Nov 7, 2022 2:30 pm | (UTC-04:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Join link:

Webinar number:
2636 683 9825

Webinar password:
GBr5rMSB9H7 (42757672 from phones)

Join by phone
+1-408-418-9388 United States Toll

Access code: 263 668 39825

Pamela Monaco, Ph.D.
Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Wilbur Wright College in Chicago, IL.

Open Forum:  Friday, November 11, 2022, 2:30 – 4:00 pm, Gateway 104 Auditorium.

Webinar topic:
Presidential Finalist – Public Forum

Date and time:
Friday, Nov 11, 2022 2:30 pm | (UTC-04:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Join link:

Webinar number:
2636 805 3216

Webinar password:
JPi4grmxK23 (57444769 from phones)

Join by phone
+1-408-418-9388 United States Toll

Access code: 263 680 53216

David Potash, Ph.D.
President of Wilbur Wright College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago, in Chicago, IL.


Open Forum:  Thursday, November 10, 2022, 2:30 – 4:00 pm, Gateway 104 Auditorium.

Webinar topic:
Presidential Finalist – Public Forum

Date and time:
Thursday, Nov 10, 2022 2:30 pm | (UTC-04:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Join link:

Webinar number:
2636 096 5734

Webinar password:
W2DeA2HKjV5 (92332245 from phones)

Join by phone
+1-408-418-9388 United States Toll

Access code: 263 609 65734

The College

Established in 1964 as the first public community college in New Jersey, Ocean County College has been serving Ocean County ever since with a mission to provide affordable, student-centered education.  OCC is proud of its premier main campus in Toms River and its Southern Education Center, both of which offer high quality academic and workforce opportunities.  OCC’s student life encompasses multiple clubs, the Jon and Judith Larson Student Center, the Robert J. Novins Planetarium, the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, a new Student Enrollment Building, and a range of athletics programs.  The main campus is also the home of the Garden State Philharmonic Orchestra and the Grunin Performing Arts Academy (PAA), a model of dual-credit cooperation with the Ocean County Vocational Technical Schools.

OCC serves more than 8,000 students each semester and offers three degrees—A.A., A.S., and A.A.S.—in a comprehensive range of academic disciplines, including an award-winning Nursing program, certifications across 40 fields of study, and numerous transfer opportunities, both nationally and to all New Jersey four-year institutions.  OCC is the 2022 Bellwether Award Winner, recognized as a Veteran Friendly Campus, and was a finalist for the 2023 Aspen Award. Ocean County College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and its status as an accredited institution was reaffirmed with commendations in 2014.

OCC offers a wide variety of in-demand occupational trainings, registered apprenticeships, adult basic skills, and work-readiness programs. Additionally, the College provides customized professional development programming to local businesses via onsite incumbent worker training.  An average of 2,325 students are enrolled in these non-credit training programs annually.  Furthermore, OCC aggressively pursues grant opportunities, including a variety of state, federal, and foundation grant awards.  In 2021 alone, 31 applications for funding were submitted, resulting in $5,542,431 in funded awards.

In 2021, OCC partnered with Intel Corporation to expand its Artificial Intelligence Workforce Program to enable hundreds of students to achieve careers in several in-demand fields, including automotive, aerospace, and healthcare.  The College has developed unique partnerships with several Governmental, National, and Private universities in Egypt, resulting in a range of opportunities to dramatically increase enrollment and generate revenue.  Through these partnerships, OCC delivers hybrid, cohort-based remote instruction in the first two years of multiple baccalaureate degree programs via the College’s School of e-Learning and Learning Enterprises.

OCC’s unique partnership with Kean University, ‘Kean Ocean,’ enables students to complete courses required for a variety of Kean University degree programs on the OCC campus.  Kean Ocean programs are housed in the Gateway Building on the campus of OCC.  It is an 80,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art classroom and office facility which is jointly owned by both institutions.

The College also has deep partnerships involving much more than transfer articulation with New Jersey senior institutions, including Rutgers University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, New Jersey City University, Stockton University, Thomas Edison State University, William Paterson University, Montclair State University, and several private universities.  In addition, Ocean County College has 14 accredited high school dual credit sites where students earn at least 50% of an Associate degree and 14 “other instructional sites” where less than 50% of an OCC degree is offered.

OCC is one of only two community colleges with intercollegiate sailing  programs active in the U.S.  The College competes in the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association regattas against four-year universities from Cornell to the University of Virginia.  OCC’s Sailing program is located at the Citta Sailing Center in Mill Creek Park on the Toms River.

OCC provides multiple options in tuition assistance, in addition to federal aid, to further lower barriers to access, including:  College Foundation scholarships, aid for veterans, and state programs, such as New Jersey Tuition Assistance Grants (TAG), the Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG), and NJ STARS, an initiative created to provide free tuition to New Jersey’s highest achieving students.

The Region

OCC’s main campus is located on 275 acres of beautiful, wooded area in Toms River, the seat of Ocean County.  To meet the demands of growth in Toms River Township and County-wide, community leaders are working through several development plans that will secure further housing and business development and add to the over 90 existing age-restricted, gated communities.  The next President of Ocean County College will be a valued partner in this process as the community continues to strategize on building critical economic development and academic opportunities for the County’s residents.

Ocean County is located along the Jersey Shore within the central portion of the state and, since the early 2000’s, has experienced one of the fastest growths in population in the country.  The region offers numerous points of interest, including several locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places and thousands of acres of pristine natural landscapes in Island Beach State Park, Brendan T. Byrne State Forest, and Barnegat Lighthouse State Park.  The County also provides access to major metropolitan areas, including Philadelphia and New York City.

Presidential Profile

Ocean County College seeks an open, candid, energetic, innovative, and future-oriented leader who will connect with faculty, staff, administrators, students, and the community to continue transforming the College and further enhance student success and workforce development.  The successful candidate will be required to reside in Ocean County, New Jersey.

  • Innovate and expand programs and services to increase enrollment, retention, and completion.
  • Engage all constituents to further a culture of trust, transparency, and belonging, and inspire faculty, staff, students, and stakeholders to work together to collaboratively address the needs of the College and the Ocean County community.
  • Appreciate the importance of effective strategies supporting, at a high level, the value of diversity in the community and the student body.
  • Continue to advance college-wide, state-of-the-art technology to deliver in-demand programs and services through traditional, hybrid, online, and HyFlex modalities.
  • Advocate for OCC by communicating the value of higher education and increasing local, regional, and global outreach to further OCC’s status as a college of first choice with a 34% yield from County high schools.
  • Continue to generate new sources of enrollment and revenue in a time of decreasing traditional resources by collaborating with regional, national, and international businesses, industries, and academic partners to meet the workforce needs of the community, energize potential donors who are generous with their philanthropy, and build upon the $24 million currently held in the College Foundation, which distributes nearly $1 million in gifts and scholarships annually.
  • Understand the impact of the COVID pandemic on students, the community, and the College, and envision strategies to use a wide variety of resources to assist the College, its students, and the general community to successfully meet these challenges.
  • Expand on the College’s pioneering work to bring American community college education to the Middle East.
  • Master’s degree required; earned Doctorate from a regionally accredited institution is highly preferred.
  • A minimum of five years of progressive senior-level administrative experience in higher education at a community college.
  • Teaching experience at any level in the higher education environment.
  • An innovative collaborator with the ability to work with the community to address the economic development needs of both the College and the County.
  • A DEI-focused leader who understands the importance of attracting underserved and non-traditional students with empathy towards the staff, faculty, and students of Ocean County College.
  • An exceptional communicator who engages with faculty and staff to collaboratively share a vision for the future of Ocean County College.
  • A unifier who has demonstrated experience valuing college faculty and staff.
  • An individual with demonstrated experience and strong understanding of and commitment to working effectively in a collective bargaining environment.
  • A leader who values the importance of a high-quality educational experience across the liberal arts, workforce, and high technology disciplines, and who has a successful track record of increasing retention and graduation rates.
  • A fiscally astute leader experienced in transparently leading a planning and budgeting process that supports the strategic growth plans of the College.
  • A proponent of the value of athletics to the overall student experience, who is experienced in managing the goals, resources, and success of the athletics program.
  • A proactive manager with the experience required to prepare the College for Middle States accreditation and to successfully lead the institution through the rigorous accreditation process.
  • A strong leader who demonstrates expertise in all aspects of crisis management, including prevention, response, and recovery.
  • A visionary with experience in the long-range strategic planning necessary to advance the College’s mission and foster growth in the areas of enrollment, applications of technology, educational programs, and student success.
  • An effective and proactive advocate for the College, its mission, and its values, who serves as an inspiring influence in conversations at the local, state, and national levels.
  • An open, approachable leader with the ability to be constantly present in the campus community, who truly enjoys interacting with faculty, staff, and students and desires to develop relationships with the internal and external community.
  • A fiscally astute leader with extensive experience managing large and complex budgets.
  • An entrepreneurial fundraiser who has experience with development and working with philanthropic donors, organizations, and foundations.
  • An innovative thinker who can develop creative and unique ways to help Ocean County College thrive during this period of great change in the higher education landscape.
  • Demonstrated experience building relationships with employees to foster unity and to assure the retention of dedicated and accomplished faculty and staff.
  • An administrator who understands the function and relationship between a CEO and a Board of Trustees; one who can build upon the current collaborative relationship.


For additional information, nominations, or confidential inquiries, please contact:


April 27 and 28, 2022
ACCT Search Consultant facilitated a series of open public forums to solicit input for the development of a Draft Presidential Profile (staff, faculty, students, administrators, and community members were invited to attend); electronic survey distributed to solicit feedback for the draft Presidential Profile.

 April 28, 2022
ACCT Search Consultant met with the Board of Trustees to discuss and finalize search process and expectations.

 May 20, 2022
Presidential Search Committee Meeting (#1); virtual meeting held for orientation, training, and confidentiality.  Reviewed and edited the draft Presidential Profile.

 June 2, 2022
Presidential Profile conceptually approved by the Board of Trustees.

June 2022
The final Presidential Profile was posted on and Local, state-wide, and national one-to-one recruitment commenced, and national advertising began. Applications were accepted upon posting of the position.

August 17, 2022
Target Date for Receipt of Applications (open until filled).

August 22 to September 7, 2022
Presidential Search Committee members reviewed confidential applications independently on ACCT secure web portal.

September 15, 2022
Presidential Search Committee met for discussion and selection of semifinalist candidates.

September 29 and 30, 2022
Presidential Search Committee conducted confidential WebEx interviews with semifinalists and provided strength/weakness feedback on all semifinalists to the Board of Trustees.

October 20 and 21, 2022
Board of Trustees Search Committee conducted confidential in-person and virtual interviews with semifinalists.  The Board deliberated to select finalists.

Week of November 7, 2022
Final candidates interviewed with the full Board, toured the campus, participated in open public forums, and met with direct reports; Board selected first-choice candidate.

November 2022 
The Board conducted the final vetting process.

November 21, 2022
Board of Trustees announced Dr. Pamela Monaco has been selected as the next President of Ocean County College.

July 1, 2023
Start date of Dr. Pamela Monaco.

Download the OCC Presidential Search Timeline

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