Keith A. Reynolds
The search for Dr. Roy Church’s replacement as president of Lorain County Community College is proceeding on schedule according to the chair of the Presidential Search Committee.
In a statement released after their latest meeting on Jan. 26, committee chair Lawrence Goodman wrote that the Board of Trustees-appointed committee had narrowed the field of possible presidents down from the 35 who applied, to nearly a dozen candidates. These remaining applicants were chosen because their “background[s] and experience[s] seem especially consistent with the presidential qualities and qualifications established for the search,” Goodman explained.
After the formation of the search committee, the committee released a presidential search profile which contains the qualities and qualifications that the search committee believe will make a good fit with LCCC. This search profile includes a list of these qualifications that gives an idea of what the search committee is. From the search profile:
- A passion for higher education and specifically the unique mission of community colleges in improving the quality of life of the nation’s citizens.
- Skills for continuing the strategic focus—a persistent, innovative, and visionary thinker.
- Commitment to academic quality and excellence in teaching and learning.
- Team-oriented…a leader who cultivates and fosters an environment that attracts and support the highest quality, highest-performing and diverse faculty, staff and administrators who are deeply committed to excellence.
- Student-centered…accessible to students and understanding the diverse needs and unique challenges of the students attending Lorain County Community College and its University Partnership.
- Experience in creating and implementing economic and community development programs.
- Skills to foster a culture of evidence and inquiry.
- Experience in leading a diverse and complex organization, embracing a mutual gains approach.
- Leadership and executive experience at a senior level indicative of leading a comprehensive community college.
- Academic credentials appropriate for leading a college; a doctorate is preferred.
- Experience with local, state, federal government, corporate and private fundraising.
- Ability to work with a governing board.
- Experience with successfully managing budgets and finances.
- Inspirational, visionary and charismatic, able to work and interact effectively with all internal and external stakeholders, especially elected officials, business and civic leaders, neighborhoods and citizens.
- Excellent communication skills with diverse audiences including students, faculty, staff, grassroots organizations, media, business and government leaders.
- High ethical standards and personal integrity.
- A person who will be comfortable in any company and who will maintain the highest visibility on and off campus.
The period for interested parties to apply came to an end Jan. 26, with 35 completed applications received. It is the job of the committee with the assistance of AGB Searches, the search firm hired to facilitate the search, to thoroughly vet the dozen hopefuls still remaining. At this point in the process, vetting is being performed via reference checks.
Shortly after the search committee was named, the student senate raised questions about what they saw as a lack of a student voice on the committee. These questions manifested themselves in a petition, signed by hundreds of students and delivered to Church, and a special coffee meeting with the committee’s liaison to campus, Tracy Green. The student perspective on the committee is being provided by Charlene Dellipoala, an LCCC/ University Partnership alumnus and current University Partnership student.
In order for the senate’s concerns to be addressed, an email was drafted by student senate president Benjamin Colon-Nieves and Green and sent to Carlos Hernandez, the AGB Search consultant handling the LCCC account. The email outlined the senate’s desire for the committee to better reflect the desires of the students.
Chairman of the LCCC Board of Trustees Terry Goode says that the Board of Trustees takes its responsibility in this search very seriously, and is casting a wide net in order to find the best candidate to replace Church. “[The Board] has not had to take on such an effort in 30 years. As good stewards, we owe it to our community to conduct a comprehensive search process to ensure the best candidate for this position is found,” he explained. “This is a comprehensive search to identify the best fit for the position and that includes candidates internally, locally, in the region, state or nationally.”
The search committee is scheduled to meet Feb. 17 to discuss the next round of vetting for the potential presidents. An update is expected soon after, along with an aggregate report of the candidates.