College of Eastern Idaho narrows presidential candidate pool to four

IDAHO FALLS — The College of Eastern Idaho has announced four presidential finalists.

Each finalist will participate in a public forum later this month where they will introduce themselves and participate in a question-and-answer session.

Here’s a list of the candidates and educational background of each, according to a CEI press release issued Thursday:

  • Rick Aman, CEI’s current interim president. Aman previously served as the president of Eastern Idaho Technical College in Idaho Falls and earned a Ph.D in Community College Leadership from Oregon State University. He holds a master of business administration from Golden Gate University, a bachelor of science in education from Western Oregon State College and an associate of science in computer applications from Mt. Hood Community College.
  • Ryan Carstens, strategy and special projects associate for the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges. Carsten is former president of Spokane Community College. He earned a doctor of education degree in educational administration from the University of Texas, Austin; a master of science in curriculum and instruction from Oklahoma State University; and a Bachelor of Science in German from Oklahoma State University.
  • Anthony Paustain, provost and chief administrative officer at Des Moines Area Community College. Paustain has been president and owner of the A.D. Paustian Design Group. He earned a Ph.D in higher educational psychology and administration from the University of Iowa, an MBA from Loyola University and a bachelor of business administration in marketing and finance from Eastern New Mexico University. Paustain also holds an associate of science in management degree from Eastern New Mexico University and an associate of applied science in aircraft technology from the Community College of the Air Force.
  • Richard Pearce, vice president for learning and student success at Heartland Community College in Illinois. Pearce has been vice president for learning and student development at Illinois Valley Community College. He holds a Ph.D in educational administration and foundations from Illinois State University, a master of arts in Asian history from Illinois State University, a bachelor of science in history and social science education from Illinois State University and an associate of arts in secondary education from Illinois Valley Community College.

Those who attend the forums will be able to fill out feedback forms for CEI trustees, who will ultimately choose a candidate.

Forums will all be held at the school’s Healthcare Building No. 6 in rooms 6163 and 6164. Here are the dates and times:

Tuesday, Nov. 28

  • Anthony Paustain, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Ryan Carstens, 12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 29

  • Rick Aman, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Richard Pearce, 12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

CEI is an Idaho Falls-based community college that voters approved in May. Before it became a community college, it was known as Eastern Idaho Technical College.

Devin Bodkin

Devin Bodkin

EdNews assistant editor and reporter Devin Bodkin is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He lives and works in East Idaho. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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