By Staff Editorial
By Staff Editorial
If they rely on public opinion, the search committee looking for a new president may have a hard time knowing what to look for.
Association of Community College Trustees representatives held three forums on Sept. 23 and 24 to request feedback on what characteristics the new president of Riverside City College should have.
Narcisa Polonio, an ACCT consultant who also assisted in the chancellor search, led the forums.
If people had shown up to these forums, they would have been a great way for the search committee to figure out what criteria students and faculty felt they should use when finding candidates.
Unfortunately, the forums were essentially empty.
The first forum had around 20 people there – a dismal turnout, given the number of people this will affect – and the other two couldn’t even hit double-digit attendees.
The second forum was a one-man show.
The only one speaking who wasn’t a part of the search committee was Richard Davin, an associate professor of sociology.
“I was disappointed there weren’t more people,” Davin said. “There damn sure should have been.”
Polonio handled the forums as well as one could without attendees, encouraging the few who were there to speak. She also went over what was discussed in previous forums in order to chew up time.
She kicked the second forum off with a joke about how empty the room was.
“We really do thank you … all the people at the back that can’t see us,” Polonio said.
While there was a prepared order and structure to how things would be discussed, the feedback given was disorganized, and much of it was irrelevant.
It was discussed multiple times that the president shouldn’t focus only on Riverside at the expense of other campuses.
Of course, Norco and Moreno Valley have their own presidents. If the president of Riverside doesn’t focus on this campus, something is horribly wrong.
Additionally absurd, there was a good deal of discussion on how friendly the president should be.
Apparently it’s important that the president not only do what’s best for the college, but also say “hi” to faculty on campus.
It seems the faculty wants Mister Rogers to be president.
Of course, some real issues and criteria were discussed.
For example, candidates should have experience teaching.
There were a few moments of productivity. The problem is, most of these moments seemed lost in a vast abyss of wasted time.
Most of the time was spent discussing things that weren’t relevant, or going over what was previously said.
Even if the forums had been productive, there were no students speaking and very few members of the faculty.
There was no diversity of opinions.
Toward the end of the last forum, Polonio started to add criteria that “should have been discussed.”
In other words, while the students and faculty were supposed to give her and the search committee some criteria, Polonio had to come up with her own.
After the forums were over, Polonio said that she and the search committee would definitely add more criteria that hadn’t been discussed.
After the candidates in the search for a chancellor were so dismal, we’d think people on this campus might be a little more eager to help come up with decent presidential candidates.
Unfortunately, if the attendance of the search forums is any indication, it seems no one cares who we have as president.