John Cech, dean of the Montana State University Billings College of Technology, has been named the top finalist as the state's deputy commissioner for two-year education.
The current deputy commissioner, Mary Moe, is retiring.
Today, Commissioner of Higher Education Sheila Stearns announced Cech's choice after a competitive recruitment process. He is scheduled for Thursday and Friday interviews in Helena
If Cech is selected, he will be responsible for coordinating two-year education; administering federally funded career and technical education programs; and providing leadership in extended learning, online delivery, adult education and outreach.
Stearns said the deputy commissioner also is the state's leader in College Now.
That initiative “includes plans for expanding virtual community college opportunities, including structured degree programs and workforce training delivered online throughout Montana,” said a release from Stearns' office.
Cech has been dean of the MSU Billings College of Technology since 2002. Before that he was at Rocky Mountain College, where he was dean of continuing education and community services from 1989 to 2002 and was a faculty member teaching classes in information systems.
He has a bachelor's degree in information systems and business administration from Eastern Montana College, now MSU Billings; a master's degree in nonprofit organization management; and a Ph.D. in education from Walden University, Minneapolis, Minn.
Stearns is expected to present the name of her recommended candidate for the job to the Montana Board of Regents for a vote at its Nov. 18-19 meeting in Missoula.