Southwestern welcomes new Executive Dean Dr. Douglas Bunn to Curry Campus

Douglas Bunn

COOS BAY, Ore. – Southwestern Oregon Community College is pleased to welcome Dr. Douglas N. Bunn as the new Executive Dean of the Curry Campus. Dr. Bunn holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Washington State University where he conducted empirical analysis of the physician/patient relationship. He also studied at Auburn University, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Utah State University, and received an Associate Degree in Arts and Sciences from Ricks College.

Before joining Southwestern, Dr. Bunn held the position of Associate Dean of the Kingman Campus and Online Learning at Mohave Community College, and prior to that he served as Division Chair of the Humanities and Business Division at Western Wyoming Community College. Doug is passionate about community college education because he’s seen the benefits of a college education first hand.

Although he views degree attainment with a great deal of pride, Dr. Bunn wouldn’t have anyone distracted by degrees or titles. As a Rupert, Idaho native, he enjoyed humble beginnings, but life on the farm was never dull. As a youth he enjoyed the traditional summer job experiences of one growing up in a farming community. He milked cows, moved pipe, drove tractor, swathed alfalfa, and drove truck. Upon graduation from high school he worked in fast food and later fought fires with the Cassia District of the BLM. 

Persuaded to go to college, Doug thought he wanted a career in banking. Though he never lost interest in banking, his academic trajectory changed in his first semester as he excelled in economics. Under the direction of talented instructors his interest in economics bloomed. A scholarship offer lead to attending Utah State University (USU). While at Utah State Doug was offered a grading job for Dr. Reed Durtschi. Dr. Durtschi was as seasoned Professor of Economics (teaching at USU since 1958), in his 70’s by then, but never lacking energy. He followed the news closely and they would talk public policy, taxes, government spending, inflation and trade. Durtschi always had a question, something to think about or consider. It was that experience that led Doug to graduate school.

Following graduate school Dr. Bunn began his career performing grant funded research.  He assisted in the implementation of a prospective payment system for the public employers of the state of West Virginia. That work led to a stint performing cost of illness studies for the pharmaceutical industry, and then to profiling physician practice behavior. Though the work was anything but boring, Doug was inclined to seek a return to the classroom. An opportunity came in 2001 as he joined the faculty at BYU-Idaho. He has since taught at North Idaho College, Blackburn College and Western Wyoming Community College.

Doug says, “The Brookings community has been so welcoming and kind. It’s wonderful to be on a campus that is so beautiful, relaxing, and inviting. My wife, Colleen, and I are excited to be part of the community.”