Now hiring: RCC president

After an exhaustive and long search for a chancellor, Riverside City College turns its attention to the search for a new president. Narcisa Polonio from the Association of Community College Trustees headed the open public forums to develop a position profile for RCC’s new president.

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By Rachael Green, Jason Lillard

The Vice President of Board Leadership Services, Narcisa Polonio, leads the presidential search forum on Sept. 23. (Mary Anne Case)

By Rachael Green, Jason Lillard

After an exhaustive and long search for a chancellor, Riverside City College turns its attention to the search for a new president.

Narcisa Polonio from the Association of Community College Trustees headed the open public forums to develop a position profile for RCC’s new president.

The three forums were held Sept. 23-24.

The profile created will be the criteria used by the search committee to look for candidates to fill the position temporarily being held by Linda Lacy.

Polonio stressed the importance of identifying the next president’s desired qualities. “If you don’t put it down, you can’t expect the candidate to come with that experience,” she said.

Though the turnout was low, the few who attended voiced opinions about the important issues facing the college in the future and the preferred characteristics of a new college president.

The issue raised most often concerned the possible separation of the three campuses into independent colleges.

With this impending separation, attendees wanted to be sure the president would work toward the cause of establishing an independent culture that will set our college apart from the Norco and Moreno Valley campuses, while still retaining the unity amongst the three.

Richard Davin, Chair of Behavioral Sciences, was one of the few in attendance of the second meeting. Davin was not alone in his concern about the campus decentralization.

“(We must) maintain local identity, yet understand we have brothers and sisters,” said Davin.

In order to assure this goal will be met by our future president, many insisted that the candidates have a strong sense of locality and a record of involvement in the community.

In addition, they would like the candidates to have a background in teaching and working directly with students at a college level.

They hope this quality will ensure that the prospective president will be sympathetic toward and understanding of student and faculty needs. They also hope that the president will also have the larger goal of student success in mind.

Student needs addressed at the forum included emphasis on ensuring that the curriculum offered here is transferable to the four-year universities and on improving the student services.

Improving program relevance was a priority of Marylin Jacobsen, Director of the Center for International Student and Programs.

“Everything is competitive with other countries and we need to stand out to attract people from other countries to come here,” Jacobsen said.

They felt that programs already in place should be improved instead of creating new ones that the college can not afford.

A college president with a friendly, open-door policy was also said to be preferred by those in attendance.

“He should be a high profile on campus, instead of operating everything behind a desk,” Davin said.

An academic focus was also stressed over a business background.

Some were concerned that if the primary focus is money, student and faculty tend to suffer as a result.

Turnout was low at the presidential search forum on Sept. 23. (Mary Anne Case)

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