Chancellor begins search for new Valley College president

An open Town Hall marks the beginning of the search for the next head of Valley College.

By Solomon Smith, Managing Editor

Armed with a time table and a positive outlook, LACCD Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez asked Valley faculty and staff what they want in a candidate to fill the Valley College Presidential slot.

The position was vacated by Erika Endrijonas, and held by the Vice President of Administrative Services, Mike Lee, until the interim Dr. Denise Noldon arrived on Monday. Held in the Campus Center Building, staff and faculty listed their concerns and requirements for future candidates. Audience members were adamant that a candidate be local and familiar with the needs of the school. Educators also wanted someone with a background working within the community college system.

“I think what’s important for me is having a president who is from this community or who is willing to move to this community,” said Dr. Annie G. Reed, the Associate Dean of Student Services. “I would love a president who has gone through that process of being in a community college.”

A selection committee drawing heavily from Valley College faculty and staff will be an integral part of the selection process according to the Chancellor. They will have several crucial responsibilities in the early stages of selection; drafting the announcement, writing the job description and screening applicants. Five applicants are recommended to Rodriguez who further screens and interviews applicants. Two or three candidates are then brought to the board which makes the final decision.

According to the Chancellor, pools are generally 13 to 15 candidates coming from a pool of 3 to 5 times that. Screening and selecting applicants is a big job and the district has contracted an outside source PPL Incorporated, who also helped find a president for L.A. Trade Tech. They will also do an extensive background of the applicants, according to PPL representative Dr. Lisa Sugimoto, who was the Vice President of College Advancement at Pasadena City College in 2010 and has experience with the LACCD.

“Our job is to help facilitate the process, said Sugimoto. “We do very deep reference checks, about 15 to 20 refence check on every individual.”

“Partly why we wanted to be here today was to listen to what the culture is here what the faculty is…” said Sugimoto, “when we get call we want to be able to tell applicants what the school is about.”

The main goals for the new president, as laid out by the chancellor, will be graduation rates, retaining students and a focus on dual enrollment, and adult education and the chancellor intends to make that a priority for the new president.

The next step is to finalize the committee for selection and prepare the job announcement and description. As of this writing Rodriguez has stated that the majority of the committee members have been selected and the members will be announced within the next week. The entire process should take under 6 months, and Rodriguez is optimistic about having the job filled by the fall semester.

“I am committed to finding the best partner and leader for LAVC,” said Rodriguez.