Another rift has opened within the campus community over the alleged mishandling of the presidential search after the Board of Trustees (BOT) narrowed the search down to one finalist, an uncommon occurrence in the community college system, according to the Academic Senate.
A press release sent out from the Academic Senate stated that the situation surrounding the presidential search “has confirmed fears that board members are disconnected from the cultural shift that has been happening on campus.”
A 14-member committee, elected by the BOT, conducted a screening of the applications and forwarded their recommendations to the board. The board narrowed the list of applicants to eight finalists yet only two were invited to present at forums on campus.
“The assumption is that there was something about those six other candidates that was undesirable,” said Valerie Foster, President of the Academic Senate. “That is the problem, the selection process is unclear.”
Foster then questioned why the board isn’t going back into the pool to get other candidates rather than leaving only one finalist to choose from.
The finalist, Cliff Davis of Missouri, is currently the only finalist for the position.
The possible decision to hire Davis remains a contentious topic after last semester when the BOT’s decision not to hire Akova Scott, and instead went with an outside hire, sparked an outrage among the African-American community on campus. Davis would be another outside hire.
The Academic Senate’s press release announced a meeting on Monday, April 30 at 4 p.m. to discuss the issue and allow the community to attend and air their concerns. Public comments may be made as long as a comment card is turned in before the meeting.
The Courier reached out to Academic Senate Vice-President Shelagh Rose and PCC Faculty Association (PCCFA) President Mark Whitworth for comment, but have yet to receive a response.
Story will be updated as more information becomes available.
Amber Lipsey contributed to this report