Board of Trustees Meeting

Alicia Edquist, Advertising Manager/Lab Aide

What are our expectations of the next college president? This was the main topic at the Board of Trustees meeting last Wednesday.

While it was made clear that the Board is not a part of the presidential search committee, the Board wanted to address the presidential search committee with what expectations they would like to see in the next college president.

Like in prior years when a presidential search committee would be put together, there would at least be two or three board members on the committee. But this time, the board has given up their right to have a member on the committee.

At a Board of Trustees meeting in November, the Board chose to not have members be a part of the committee.

“I was not there the night of the November meeting, but through conversation it was believed to be because that in the past when searching for a president either rather real or perceived ideas about members on the search committee that might have been intimidated to speak out on a certain idea, if a board member would disagree. This time we wanted them to be able to speak as candidly and freely as they like,” said Bob Arthur, President of the Board of Trustees.

The Board would like to give the presidential search committee more of an opportunity to speak openly and candidly about topics that come up at the search committee meetings, without the Board possibly influencing the decisions of the committee.

“We have the upper most confidence in the search committee picking as many qualified applicants as possible,” Arthur said.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the Board members presented their ideas and expectations about what a College President/CEO should do.

Arthur shared his expectations of what type of characteristics the president of the Cerritos College should have.

Demonstrated success as a CEO or senior level administrative experience in a similar institution.

Demonstrated ability to set a direction over a period of time.

Demonstrated stability in positions held.

Clear understanding of the role of instruction.

Have good public presence and can tell the story of Cerritos College in the community and build lasting relationships.

A leader: has a vision and knows how to sell it.

Someone the Board can have confidence in; can communicate effectively; and, provides strong leadership to maximize efficiently.

DOES NOT micro-manage. Provides direction to senior staff, hence, accountability.

Board member John Moore also gave his list of what to expect to see in a president and from the search committee.

1. Forward a minimum of five candidates for final interview by Board of Trustees unranked.

2. Search committee will work towards identifying a strong qualified diverse pool of applicants to interview.

3. Search committee will work to determine each candidate’s commitment to students and their success.

4. Search committee will work toward identifying integrity and honesty in the candidates forwarded to the board for a final interview.

5. Search committee will work toward identifying each candidate’s ability to wear well with the campus community, various community groups, local municipalities and K-12 feeder school.

The Board also favors a diverse group of candidates from all backgrounds.

Ted Edmiston, Board member, shared that he would like to see a president that was strong supporter of technology and vocational training.

Eric Gutierrez, Board member, wants to see a candidate with strength in business.

The predetermined number that Moore had stated bothered Bob Chester, Faculty Senate president and a part of the search committee.

“We (Presidential Search Committee) are only going to send the ones we are confident to be a good president and we understand that you would like it to be a diverse group,” Chester said.

The committee also said that they would find it quite hard to find the fifth candidate if they only feel the four is the best to send forward.

Chester also said that he would not want to put forth ones (candidates) that aren’t qualified to be president and would not want to waste the board’s time with sending candidates forward that aren’t qualified.

At first, trust in the presidential search committee seemed to be also the focus of the study session.

Moore was concerned that since a board member is not on the committee, we have to have faith and put our trust in them (the committee).

Jenine Nolan, search committee member said, “we want to have the Board have trust, and should trust the commitment of the committee that we will do our job.”

Moore again addressed that its not wasting the board’s time.

“This is the most important thing for the Board to do, is to select a CEO, its not wasting our time we just need to feel that they got the range of the pool,” Moore said.

New Board member Tom Jackson told the committee that he would like to see the best you have to offer the Board.

Eric Gutierrez reminded everyone in the room that he doesn’t think that is a conflict of trust, he would just like to see a large pool of the best as well.

To wrap up the discussion on the expectations, Edmiston said that he thinks the strong point is that the Board wants to be comfortable.

Chester said to the board that they want to be comfortable also and in good faith, they hope to have a pool and if there isn’t a pool they will advise the Board. He also stated that he would like to see a candidate that will bring an effective working relationship with the Board.

It was also mentioned in the meeting that the presidential brochures were sent out and are also available on the Internet at www.highereducationjobs.com.

After the talk about the presidential search study session, the board started regular business and talked about the General Obligation Bond for the college and the phone bank that some of the members of the Board have participated in.

Arthur mentioned that there is also a television commercial and a radio commercial for the G.O. Bond and was really excited to hear it.

The board also honored two classified employees for the month of November and December.

Debbie Tomas, was honored as the Classified Employee of the Month for November and Amber Major, Banquet Chef for Culinary Arts was honored for December.

Lastly, the Classified School Employees Association (CSEA) spokeswoman Irlanda Lopez made a presentation to the Board.

She spoke on behalf to the CSEA in hopes that the board realizes that they are important to Cerritos College and that they hope that negotiations reconvene and that the deductions would not keep coming out of their wages for healthcare.

The last statement she left with the board was “Do you believe that the college would be able to be successful without the classified employees? We think not.”

Negotiations for the classified employees reconvened on last Thursday.