Experience and innovation wanted in new vice presidents


Karla Enriquez

Trustee Bob Arthur explains what he looks for in a vice president of Academic Affairs and Human Resources at the Wednesday, March 30 open forum. He cited experience was something he was looking for. Photo by Karla Enriquez/TM

Karla Enriquez, Editor-In-Chief

Innovation, experience, support and understanding are some of the qualities faculty and students are looking for in the next two vice president positions Cerritos College is looking to fill.

Open forums were held on both Wednesday, March 30 and Thursday, March 31 in the Cheryl A. Epple Board Room where input was given on what the campus community looks for in the next vice president hires.

The college is looking for both a vice president of Academic Affairs and Human Resources after JoAnna Schilling’s departure and Mary Anne Gularte’s imminent parting.

Although off to a bare start on Wednesday, faculty walked in throughout the forum, while the student portion was comprised of a multimedia reporting class on assignment.

College President Jose Fierro stated that an electronic survey will be available for those who could not make it to the forum, “which is pretty much everyone,” he joked.

“I would like someone who is visible around campus, […] someone [who will be] involved on campus, I like to be involved but I would like to have some help in that regard.”

Fierro also expressed that it is important for the next vice presidents to focus on student success adding that he is looking for a vice president of academic affairs that will help drive the completion initiative that not only assists students in finishing their community college careers, but will help them do it faster.

When it comes to Human Resources, he would also like to see someone continue the work in diversity, produce initiatives in employee development, and is looking for someone with collective bargaining experience.

“Someone who has collective bargaining experience to see if we can get to a point in which we can wrap a contract and can help the union get to a closure point […] someone that has the experience and willingness to continue the work and bring it to a closure soon, in a realistic amount of time.”

Trustee Bob Arthur also expressed that he is looking for someone with experience.

Dr. Fierro stated that he would like the next vice presidents to be unafraid to express his or her point of view and willing to to take feedback in a positive way.

“It is a very good way to exchange ideas and it may seem intimidating, but is actually a productive way to exchange ideas, so we need someone who will handle that and not get upset,” he noted.

Other faculty present voiced the same sentiment while adding that they would like to see someone willing to collaborate and discuss.

Instructional Lab Technician and adjunct professor Alicia Edquist, noted that she would like to see someone who supports the radio, television, and journalism department.

Furthermore Director of College Relations Miya Walker, expressed the importance of an innovative vice president.

“I think the adoption of more technology on campus. Someone who really embraces the movement toward technology or growing technology that is going to help advance student learning, it is going to help students to access what they need through technology.

“I think sometimes education institutions are a little a little slow to adopt changes in technology because either there is not an understanding of the importance or the infrastructure doesn’t allow for changes to happen that quickly,” she concluded.

While the discussion kept moving forward, faculty and students present shared that while they are looking for certain qualities, they also want to portray the unique and diverse culture on campus, the sense of family, and the passionate professors who make up Cerritos College.