The Superintendent-Presidential search process hit a bit of a snag during Wednesday evening’s Board of Trustees’ meeting, as the board appeared to be on different pages in terms of the bylaws and timeline of the search process—both of which were agreed upon months ago.
Dr. Vicki Nicholson, the board consultant for the superintendent-president search informed the board that Ralph Anderson and Associates (RAA), the consultants put in charge of the search by the Board of Trustees, had received 51 of the 52 expected applications by the February 12 deadline. The search consultants have since met and finished their review of the submitted applications.
Upon RAA’s completed review, the screening committee will begin their paper screening process, which will conclude on Feb. 24. They will then meet again from Feb. 25 to Feb. 27 to determine which applicants will be sent to the board for their determination that would take place on March 2.
Following the meeting on March 2, the recommended candidates would be invited to PCC for an interview on either March 20 or 21. Although the process was discussed and agreed upon in October, Trustees Bill Thomson and Ross Selvidge expressed discontent with the search process. The search committee is not being used effectively enough, Thomson said.
“I know for a fact that my member has resigned because all he was being asked to do is read about 480 pieces of paper,” he added, in reference to Lawrence Pretty, who Thomson had selected to represent Area 4 of the District’s screening committee. “He would never eyeball a candidate, where as the last time around they were able to interview candidates face to face.”
Making an amendment to this bylaw to allow members of the screening committee to conduct interviews would mean setting aside more dates for said interviews, substantially altering the timeline.
“We did discuss the procedures three or four times,” said Trustee Jeanette Mann. “And I think there was ample time for anyone that was interested in that.”
If only three candidates (the minimum number of recommended candidates asked of the screening committee) out of the 51 applicants were invited for interviews, it would give the impression that the finalists for the position have already been selected without conducting one interview, Selvidge said.
“We are not expecting the minimum,” Board President Berlinda Brown said.
The reason why the bylaw does not ask the screening committee to conduct face to face interviews is because the board does not want preconceived preferences toward any of the candidates and a paper screening would be the best way to assure this, Brown said.
Thomson added that other representatives were also unhappy, and moved to set a meeting for the board members to further discuss the timeline. The motion did not pass.
The board then set tentative dates for a “community forum” for each finalist. Each forum would be composed of a campus tour, a question and answer session with the school and community, and a dinner. The tentative dates are Apr. 6 through Apr. 10. Since each finalist would be given a full day, the exact dates will depend on the number of finalists selected by the board during their deliberation following the interviews.