Interim forum initiates process

Friday meeting introduces candidates to community

By Stacie Guevara, Scene Editor

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As the search for an interim president of Contra Costa College continues, members of the Academic Senate and the Classified Senate will join forces and host a public candidates’ forum in Fireside Hall on Friday morning.

The exact time of the forum and the names of the finalists will be released Tuesday night or Wednesday, after The Advocate’s presstime. The interim president is expected to serve for one and a half to two years.

Academic Senate President Katie Krolikowski is working with Classified Senate President Brandy Gibson and Institutional Effectiveness and Equity Dean Mayra Padilla as they lead the process of bringing in an interim president.

Dr. Krolikowski said the three of them held previous campuswide meetings on Sept. 24 and Oct. 2.

“In the time between those two forums, we conducted a survey that helped prioritize the ideas from the Sept. 24 (meeting) and those ideas ended up on the job announcement as desirable qualifications,” Krolikowski said.

She said the entire campus and all constituencies have been involved in this process.

“I’m really proud that we were able to bring campus input into the process — more than has ever been done before,” Krolikowski said.

The idea for Friday’s forum is for the interim presidential candidates to make public statements describing why they want the position and to introduce themselves to the campus community.

Krolikowski said it’s fairly common for presidential and vice-presidential permanent positions to have a forum like this so it’s a chance for the community to meet these people and get a feel for their style.

Ideally, the people who listen to the forums can weigh in on their opinions of the candidates and that information can get to Contra Costa Community College District Chancellor Fred Wood, she said.

He may use the information gathered in his final hiring decision, she added.

Krolikowski said Dr. Wood wants to make a decision before the November Governing Board meeting takes place on Nov. 13.

CCC Acting President Mojdeh Mehdizadeh said the process for hiring the interim president requires timing because critical information must be confirmed before releasing it to the public.

“We allow individuals to share their background information, why they are interested in the college and why they think they are the right candidate for the college.”

Gibson said Friday’s forum is open to everybody — faculty, staff, students and community members. They can expect the candidates for the interim presidential position to come and speak to the campus.

She also said organizers are hoping for a question and answer period, but cannot be sure of any details as of yet.

“I’m hoping that we have wonderful candidates from whom to select and we’ll end up with somebody who can lead us for the next two years as we go through accreditation and our strategic planning,” Gibson said.

She said they are still following the timeline and believes they are doing quite well with it, however, Krolikowski said the Academic Senate thinks the timeline has been rushed.

They are currently unsure of when the process to hire the permanent president will begin, but Wood has said he intends for this interim president to serve for at least a year and a half. The new permanent president would be hired to start around June 2021.

Krolikowski said she suggested the idea to form a committee group that works together and Wood thought it was a good idea.

She said they have been leading the community voice, which got started when Wood asked faculty, classified staff and management to each send two people for a small committee that would help him hire the interim president.

Board Policy 2057 outlines how the Screening and Interview Committee for the position of president will be comprised.

Krolikowski said the main reason for Board Policy 2057 is ensure a balanced and diverse hiring committee is formed and that it reflects the college the best it can, instead of having Wood try to figure that out on his own.

“The three of us have taken the lead. There are many people on the hiring committee, so we did get that full Board Policy 2057 membership. Each group made the appointments, but then the chancellor (Wood) would have the final decision of who got to be on the board,” Krolikowski said.

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