January 15, 2021
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we wish everyone a healthy and safe new year!
Since our last update in December, the College Search Committee has completed a series of candidate interviews. From all applicants for our presidential opportunity, the College Search Committee selected 17 candidates who were deemed to have the qualifications, skills and experience to be our next College President. These semi-finalist candidates were interviewed to gain a broad understanding of each candidate’s skills and capabilities concerning eight areas of focus: academic excellence, leadership style, team-building, financial acumen and tone at the top, management style, strategic thinking and thought leadership, decision-making and civic and political relationships. Following the completion of semi-finalist interviews, the College Search Committee selected 11 candidates to advance in the search. The next step in our search process is the vetting of these 11 semi-finalist candidates by Greenwood Asher through reference checking and other background verification procedures. The entire College community extends our sincere appreciation to the members of the College Search Committee for their engagement with the candidates during these interviews which required their investment of time, energy and mental agility and their passion which enabled positive constructive discussions.
The next interview stage of the search process is also critical for the candidates interviewed. This is their first formal introduction to the College Faculty, Students, Staff and other College constituencies and of course – the Trustees. It is important for the College to put its best foot forward as this interaction represents the first inter-personal impressions received by the candidates beyond their interview with the College Search Committee. The good news is that highly favorable feedback was offered by the interviewed candidates. They were impressed with the accomplishments of our Institution, the quality of our faculty and our educational offerings, the commitment and passion of our staff, Foundation and community leaders, and the thoughtful organized engagement of our Trustees. We have attracted the best of the best in the current national community college presidential candidate pool because of our Institution’s success and reputation for serving our students and our community.
At this point in our search process, it is appropriate to step back and reflect on our journey to date. This self-assessment includes a series of critiques with Greenwood Asher, our national search firm, the Trustees and the Faculty, and other advisors and stakeholders. I am pleased to report that we have a pool of highly effective, qualified and well-credentialed semi-finalist candidates who are ready, prepared and eager to lead an Institution of our quality and accomplishment. We assessed the quality of this candidate pool in terms of our current institutional strengths as well as against our institutional long-term strategies for growth and advancement. I am also pleased to report that our presidential search is on solid footing and we are ready to take the next step.
Difficult and critically important decisions remain ahead as we evaluate our semi-finalists. The mission of the College Search Committee is to recommend well-qualified, well-credentialed,
and well-vetted candidates to the Board of Trustees. In order to accomplish this mission, our Committee must consider the shared perspectives and broader understanding of the various College stakeholders and foster a sense of unity to accomplish a common goal – identification of three to five individuals who are individually qualified to serve as both the chief academic and chief executive officer of our College. The Board of Trustees has the sole authority and fiduciary responsibility to appoint the President – truly a Board’s most significant duty.
Later this month, the College Search Committee will apply their collective judgment, experience, knowledge, and perspectives of the candidates to identify and recommend finalist candidates who can think critically about the college, challenge the conventional wisdom and inspire new paradigms in education. This task will be a very difficult and challenging – but our College Search Committee is prepared to make such decisions.
Presidential Search Chair