Forum held for second Vice President Of Academic Affairs candidate Rick Miranda


Perla Lara

Acting Vice President of Academic Affairs Rick Miranda spoke during the second day of the Open Forum for the Cerritos College Vice President of Academic Affairs held Tuesday, April 18. Miranda is also the current Dean of Academic Affairs and will continue to work closely with whoever is chosen for the position. Photo credit: Perla Lara

Perla Lara

Standing in front of a room filled with more than 55 attendees Acting Vice President of Academic Affairs Rick Miranda stated why he was the best candidate to fill the Vice President of Academic Affairs position permanently.

Miranda has been at Cerritos College for five years and for the past 15 months, he has been both dean and acting vice president of academic affairs; now as the college looks to fill the position permanently he must compete with two other candidates.

Candidate Brian Ellison from Merced College spoke on the first day of the forum, which was held on Monday, April 17. Miranda spoke during the second day of the forum held Tuesday, April 18 and the third candidate James Lancaster from Citrus College will speak during the final day of the forum on Wednesday, April 19.

The college is holding the three open forums to listen to each candidate’s answers to questions and statements of why they are the best man for the job.

Political Science Instructor Dennis Falcon said the purpose for the forums is not only to meet the candidates, sometimes for the first time, but to give students, faculty and staff an opportunity to give President Dr. Jose Fierro input on each candidate to help him decide on who to hire.

Miranda commented on the questions he received during the forum and said, “I thought they were all valid and germane questions and appropriate for what’s being asked of the position of vice president here on this campus.”

He goes on to say that given today’s challenges such as decrease enrollment, more students working, pathways, the questions asked were great questions.

Decrease enrollment, communication and student pathways were three of main topics Miranda spoke of throughout the forum.

During his opening statement, he commented on how his career path has always led him toward community college education. He said when an employment opportunity opened at Cerritos College “it was like coming home.”

Falcon was present at both open forums held. He said, “So far based on what I’ve seen both candidates did a good job of representing themselves. Giving the people here [at the forum] an opportunity to meet them.”

He was also part of the hiring committee that selected the final candidates.

“There were more than 60 applicants, those applicants where screened by a hiring committee to reduce the number to a smaller number.”

The committee ended up interviewing 15 applicants over a three-day period, a “grueling process, fair to everybody,” Falcon said.

Senior Accessibility Compliance specialist, Tim Kyllingstad, also had the opportunity to be at both forums.

Comparing the two candidates Kyllingstad said, “The other candidate [Ellison] made a comment that he would be commuting back and forth between San Diego and here and not be available on weekends or anything like that but Dr. Miranda made the point that this is home and he’s here not being a commuter I think that’s important.”

He has known Miranda in passing for three years but would hope that Mirandas personal relationships and time at Cerritos won’t influence the choice of who to hire.

“I wouldn’t want to lose a good candidate based on the fact that somebody else were here.”