Five finalists vie for RCC presidency

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By Nita Gandhi / News Editor, Kyle Crouse and Gabriella Salas / Asst. News Editors

By Nita Gandhi / News Editor, Kyle Crouse and Gabriella Salas / Asst. News Editors

The presidential candidates held forums for students, faculty and staff and soon Chancellor Gregory Gray will make his selection for a new Riverside City College president.


Gray said the previous president Jan Muto resigned from the office in June 2010 for reasons he would not say. Currently Thomas Harris has stepped in and is acting president until the RCC presidential search committee has made its choice from the five finalists for president.


The committee is comprised of two CTA members, two Academic Senate members, two community members, one confidential member, one management association member, a California School Employees Association member, and a student member, with Brenda Davis, the Norco College president as the chair of the committee.


Once the committee makes a decision, Gray will make his decision as well.


“We are getting close,” Gray said.


All five finalists spoke about their qualifications and accomplishments throughout their careers in individual forums. They also spoke on why they are the right person for the position of president of RCC.


All of the candidates hold impressive higher education backgrounds and accomplishments. Chancellor Gray will soon make his recommendation.


“My hope is to make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees at their Dec. 14 meeting,” Gray said.

Floyd Amann

The first candidate to have a forum was Floyd Amann. He is the only male out of the five candidates.


He is currently the president at Corning Community College in Corning, New York. He has held many positions as an administrator at community colleges on the East Coast.


His education includes a doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Arizona. He has a master’s in botany, a bachelor’s in biology and an associate in liberal arts.


“I’m not a rookie at this business, I’ve been at it for quite a while,” Amann said. “I say that proudly because I’ve never apologized for my career decision to become part of the community college movement.”

Cynthia Azari

Cynthia Azari has been the president of Fresno City College since 2009.


From 2007 to 2008 she was the vice chancellor of workforce development and educational services for the State Center Community College District in California.


Azari’s education includes a bachelor’s in government from Huston Tillotson College in Texas, a master’s in educational administration, master’s in industrial relation from West Virginia University and an Doctor of Education in educational leadership from Seattle University in Washington.

Anita Kaplan

The third potential president to hold a forum was Anita Kaplan.


She has previously been president of the Medical Center Campus of Miami Dade College in Miami, FL, as well as Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs at Erie Community College in Williamsville, NY.


She also spent 25 years at North Shore Community College in Danvers, MA, where she began as a professor before moving through a number of administrative positions up to Assistant Dean.


“We need to recognize that we all play an important role in the success of our students,” she said.

Jill Boyle

Jill Boyle was the president of Florida Keys Community College from 2007 to 2010.


She has instructional experience in student diversity programs at the University of Judaism in Bel Air, CA and the University of Massachusetts.


Her education includes an Doctor of Education and Master of Education in organizational development and applied group studies and a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Massachusetts.


“I see very caring and committed group of people who really care about the quality of education their providing, who care about each other, definitely care about the students” she said.

Sharon Blackman

Sharon Blackman is currently the Senior Associate Vice Chancellor of Educational Affairs/Chief workforce and retention officer, Dallas County Community College District in Texas and has been in the position since 2008.


Her education consists of a Doctor of Education from Baylor University, a Master of Education and bachelor’s from the University of Tennessee and is a certified specialist in Development Education granted by the Kellogg Institute at Appalachan State University.


“The fact that I have had both the experience of working in a college based system such as Arwin Hills Community College where there’s one college for five campuses and a college bases system like the Dallas County Community College district where there are seven colleges that are independent and one district” she said.

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