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News 2011-12
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WVC hires new dean of liberal arts, sciences and basic skills

Dr. Richard UnderbakkeDr. Richard Underbakke began his new position as the Wenatchee Valley College Dean of Liberal Arts, Sciences and Basic Skills this month.

“Wenatchee Valley College has a strong history of quality academics and a culture of maintaining a progressive attitude,” Underbakke said. “It is great to have the opportunity to work in an environment where we are continually moving forward.”

Underbakke has extensive experience in higher education. He was recently a part-time online instructor at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville, Iowa. He also served as president at Black Hawk College in Moline, Ill., and at Cloud County Community College in Concordia, Kan. He was chief academic officer at Iowa Lakes Community College; dean of agriculture, business, computers, industrial technology, math and science at Northeast Iowa Community College in Calmar; and program chair/faculty at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa.

“The dean’s position allows me to be more directly involved with faculty and students,” said Underbakke. “As I served in various positions throughout my career, I discovered that I thoroughly enjoy this level of interaction.”

In addition to his work at the college, he also looks forward to enjoying the outdoors and environment of the region.

“When we lived in the Midwest, we regularly traveled to the mountains to partake on all they had to offer; now we do not have to travel.”

Underbakke earned an associate of science degree from Des Moines Area Community College, a bachelor’s degree in economics/business from Simpson College, a master’s in business administration from Drake University, and a doctorate in organization and management from Capella University.


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