News & Events




Press Release



July 1, 2013

Cowley College welcomes our new president, Mr. N. Clark Williams



On July 8, 2013, Mr. Clark Williams became the fourth president of Cowley College since its inception in 1922. The college and surrounding communities look forward to working with Mr. Williams.

He comes to the college from Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon, a two-year public institution that enrolls more than 2,700 students at five locations, which collectively trace a 150-mile arc across five counties and more than 18,000 square miles of mountains and valleys in rural northeastern Oregon. As the vice president for operations, his duties have spanned the traditional duties of a chief operating officer, a chief administrative officer, a chief financial officer, and a chief technology officer as well as the senior executive responsibilities for student services and student affairs, the leadership of the college’s four branch campuses, the construction and maintenance of facilities, and the operation of auxiliary enterprises.

During his five-year tenure at Blue Mountain Community College, Williams has been active in a broad range of activities. He introduced and institutionalized financial and strategic planning at the college, and he was instrumental in preserving the college’s programs, salaries, and jobs — while at the same time tripling the college’s financial reserves — during the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. He oversaw the construction and commissioning of a $10-million classroom and laboratory building in Hermiston, Oregon. He was a principal architect and a leader of bold new initiatives for student success. He managed the development of the college’s first master facilities plan and oversaw the development of the college’s first master technology plan, which together will serve as the basis for a $30-million facilities-improvement bond that will go to the voters in November 2013. And he has been a peer evaluator for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, which is the regional accreditation authority for colleges and universities in the Great Northwest.

Williams is an educator with management and organizational skills not only in college administration but also in business, industry, and the military. His experience includes enterprise governance, corporate leadership, program management, industrial operations, regulatory compliance, and business development. Previously, Williams was a founder and the president of The DecisionWorks Inc. and the president of Impact Forecasting LLC, two science and engineering companies that specialize in helping decision makers to understand the risks they face and to improve the strategic and operational decisions they make to manage the risks. He served as director of laboratory program integration & chief of staff to the laboratory director for Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company, which managed and operated the Idaho National Laboratory for the United States Department of Energy.

Williams graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science. He served in the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program as a submariner, and after leaving active duty he remained engaged in naval affairs as a member of the United States Naval Reserve, retiring with the rank of Captain, USNR-R. Williams earned a Master of Science in Engineering-Economic Systems at Stanford University, where he spent nearly two years as a decision analyst at Stanford Research Institute (SRI). While at SRI, he co-authored “The Trials and Tribulations of the Tribnian Situation: A Pilot-Level Decision Analysis of Intelligence Resource Allocation,” a research report that is widely acknowledged as one of the first important applications of decision analysis to the problem of resource allocation under conditions of uncertainty.

Williams is an Oregon native, and his wife, Lou, was born and raised in Illinois. Their four grown children — Stewart, Maggie, Eric, and Carl — and their families live and work in San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston.