Forum: Russell feels at home

Rick Gomez, Editor-in-Chief

(Photo Slideshow) Barry Russell, the fourth presidential finalist, found himself in a familiar environment as the former Dean of Fine Arts and Communications at Cerritos College participated in the open forums at the college on Thursday, the fourth candidate of five this week.

Russell is currently the vice president of Instruction at College of the Siskiyous.

Barry Russell forumRussell feels one obvious advantage he has over the other candidates is his experience with Cerritos.

“I know Cerritos College, and I have such a warm place in my heart for the college,” Russell said.

Budget talks were also included. Russell stated, “We’re in a horrible budget issue, the budget issue is a huge one.”

“It really presents issues that cascade down to multiple areas.

“This campus is ready for that challenge and I think there is a good administrative team in place.  There is a good background of communication and a strong leadership through the campus, that we can figure this out.”

He also mentioned the issues with the infrastructure and how it leads back to the tight budget Cerritos is in.

“Dealing with those facilities and maintenance issues on a daily basis is a major hurdle we need to figure out,” Russell said.

Cerritos has also been under heavy construction for the past year and a half and mentioned the knowledge and comfort he has gained over the past five years dealing with construction, maintenance and facilities.

“I feel like I have a really good understanding of working with architects and the different people involved in the whole process,” he added.

Russell recognizes the qualifications of the rest of the finalists and despite being the only candidate lacking experience in the president position, he feels his track record is distinguishable from the rest of the finalists.

“My track record in the instructional area, moving from the dean level to the vice president level, and working closely with faculty on difficult issues, all along that line is strong,” he said.