Northeast Community College is nearing a decision on who its next president will be. After starting with 63 candidates, the field has been trimmed to three.

Dr. Leah Barrett, Dr. Lenny Klaver, Dr. Charles Nwankwo are the only remaining candidates.

Barrett is the vice president of student affairs for the Northern Wyoming Community College District currently. Klaver serves as president of North Central Missouri College. Nwankwo is the vice president of technology and business partnerships at Chandler Gilbert Community College in Arizona.

Over the past few days, Northeast hosted the trio. The finalists were brought to campus for another round of interviews, a tour and public forum with faculty and students.

"It was very extensive," Board of Governors and search committee member Dirk Petersen said. "It took us on incredible amount of hours. I spent a lot of time, and I know my associates on the search committee spent a huge amount of time going through all the information we got from each candidate. Hopefully we'll come up with one candidate that we agree on as a Board of Governors."

After an initial round of review, the field of 62, the committee cut it down to eight semifinalists. Then after a round of interviews, the committee chose the three finalists.

Petersen says its been a lengthy and involved process, but he believes the best three candidates remain.

"We narrowed it down to three individuals," he said. "Those three individuals were definitely at the top of the eight [semifinalists] so we're pretty confident we got the best three to look at." 

He says he is hopeful the committee will make a selection in the next couple of weeks.

"It'll probably take us 10 years," Petersen joked. 

The expectation is that the new president starts on New Year’s Day 2020.

Former president Dr. Michael Chipps retired in May after seven years in the position.