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A new search begins

By Aletheia Meloncon

Narcisa Polonio, RCCD’s consultant in the search for a new chancellor looks for comments on the selection process from faculty and students during an open forum on Nov.28. (Khai Le)

By Aletheia Meloncon

The Association of Community College Trustees held open forums in search of a new chancellor for the Riverside Community College District. The forums were to discuss what the district is looking for in the position.

Open forums were held Nov. 28 at the Riverside, Norco and Moreno Valley campuses to allow faculty, administration and students a chance to voice their concerns on criteria of great importance to find the right chancellor for the district.

In spring 2007 the district had a selection process that resulted in no candidates being selected for the position.

Narcisa Polonio and Serefin Zasueta, consultants for ACCT led the discussions.

“The purpose of the forums is to focus on strengthening governance,” Polonio said. “We like a process that is transparent.”

“We want this process to be a successful process,” Zasueta said.

A written outline for the chancellor position was used as a guideline to follow the order of importance in regards to the position.

Sheila Camak, associate vice chancellor of Workforce Development, was concerned that many who would apply for the chancellor position would be faced with huge challenges.

“We need a leader that will continue to look at ways of making more partnerships,” she said. “The leader who gets this position is going to have a huge challenge when taking on this job.”

Budget issues and planning for changes in the future for community colleges were a huge concern for Ed Bush, vice president of Student Services.

“We need a natural planner who can anticipate cycles for the coming future of the district and focus on student success not just student access,” he said.

A leader that will be a strong advocate of programs was addressed by Peter Kalnin, assistant principal of the Gateway to Early College High School, a program that helps high risk kids who did not graduate from high school to continue their education.

“Gateway has changed the lives of many of our students,” Kalnin said. “We need an advocate for all of our programs for students.”

Closing out the meeting, Polonio gave a suggestion to the forum.

“The key to choosing a chancellor is you,” she said. “Support whoever is chosen as your chancellor.”

The ACCT is based in Washington D.C. and is a non-profit organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 communities, technical, and junior colleges in the United States.

The tentative date for the candidate selection process is February 2008.

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