Board waives policy to hire vice chancellor

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By Joyce Flores

In March, Dr. Thomas S. Cleary will be joining the Alamo Community College District as the new vice chancellor for planning, performance and information systems.

Cleary has been the vice president for planning and institutional effectiveness for Manatee Community College in Bradenton, Fla., for eight years.

He will be leaving his position there and begin at the district no later than March 17, according to a motion passed at a special meeting of the board of trustees Jan. 8.

The vote was unanimous.

Cleary said he has never lived in Texas but has visited San Antonio a few times.

“It’s a wonderful city, just wonderful,” Cleary said. “We are happy to be on board and look forward to moving down.”

Cleary has a doctorate in educational leadership, a master’s of science in computer systems management, a master’s in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in business management.

He originally applied at the district during the search for the position of vice chancellor for academic and student success, but the board of trustees appointed him to a different position.

At a special board meeting Jan. 8, the board approved in a unanimous vote a motion stating, “the board of trustees hereby waives the application of board policy DC (Local) and also approves the recommendation of employment for the vice chancellor for planning, performance and information systems.”

Board policy DC (Local) sets guidelines for the hiring practices of the district. The policy sets limits for how long a position should be advertised, for which positions an executive search firm should be used and guidelines for interim positions.

Board policies can be seen online at

 Cleary said he felt better about the job he had secured with the district because it was a better fit for him.

“The job is more parallel to what my current function is here in Florida,” Cleary said. “The same operational units are involved.”

Chancellor Bruce Leslie said he recommended to the board that they waive the policy and appoint Cleary.

“What became clear to a number of us was that his strengths are really in the planning and IT area,” Leslie said.

He said the district had not yet advertised for the position of vice chancellor for planning, performance and information systems because of turnover in administration in human resources.

“I approached the board and said ‘look, my team is really sincerely impressed with this gentleman and would like not to lose him, and I think he would be best for this role,’” he said.

Leslie said that this position is difficult to fill because only a number of people are qualified to do the job, and the district was fortunate enough to find Cleary through these unusual circumstances.

“If he had not applied for that job, it’s doubtful he would have applied for the vice chancellor for planning position. His head was on the academic side.”

The salary for the vice chancellor for planning, performance and information systems is $162,000.

Leslie said the position for vice chancellor for academic and student success is still open, and another search will begin soon.


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