The Orange Coast College Search Committee prepares to set sail on its 10-week mission to seek out a new college president.

The committee started accepting applicants for the position vacated by former President Dennis Harkins in mid-December and will start the review process this week.

Erlinda Martinez, the search committee liaison, said the committee is keeping to its established calendar and because the deadline was Friday it is premature to know if there are sufficient applicants.

Martinez, a president emeritus for Santa Ana College, is no stranger to the process and procedures which the 14-member committee will be undertaking.

For much of February the applications will be screened, with the final decisions for interview questions and logistics slated for a Feb. 20 deadline.

The interviews and selection of finalists are scheduled to be held in the first half of March, sending these finalists on to the committee in April.

Kevin Ballinger, interim president of OCC, said the college is currently in the application process.

“Next, the committee will look for a qualified pool and then review applicants. We are looking forward to a successful search and appointment,” he said.

Ballinger was appointed interim president last semester after Harkins retired. Harkins had led the college for nine years.

During his tenure the OCC Foundation raised more than $44 million for scholarships and other student services.

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