Search for student success vice president continues

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Student life director is acting dean of student success.

By Alyssa Zapata

Richard Farias, interim dean of student success, photographed at the Student Dialogue and Listening Forum Sept. 16 in Room 208 of the nursing complex. Photo by Danielle Kelly

Richard Farias, interim dean of student success, photographed at the Student Dialogue and Listening Forum Sept. 16 in Room 208 of the nursing complex. Photo by Danielle Kelly

azapata84@student.alamo.edu

The college has been looking for a vice president of student success since September 2014 when Dr. Robert Vela left the position of executive vice president to become president, Richard Farias, interim dean of student success, said.

As executive vice president, Vela oversaw both academic success and student success.

After Vela became president of this college, executive vice president was an open position, but Vela preferred to split the job into vice president of academic success, which focuses on classroom and instruction, and vice president of student success, which focuses on student support services, Farias said.

By the end of fall 2014, a hiring committee recommended Dr. Jothany Blackwood as vice president of academic success and she was hired, Farias said.

“The vice president of student success remained unfilled, so we tried rehiring over the spring and during the summer, and, unfortunately, we were unable to find an adequate candidate,” Farias said.

Currently, 64 applications have been submitted for vice president of student success, Spanish Professor Tammy Perez said. She is the chair of the search committee.

This is the third search that the committee has conducted.

“We had two candidates come for an on-campus interview during the fall of last year and two during the summer,” she said.

Perez was uncertain why the two candidates in the fall and the two in summer were not hired. The final decision was made by Vela.

She was also uncertain why the search for vice president of student success has been longer than the search for vice president of academic success.

Perez said the college is looking for a broad range of qualifications that include supervising experience, organizing and directing projects and representing this college with a vision.

Student development Chair Emma Mendiola served as interim dean of student success from fall 2014 until July when she returned to student development.

After Mendiola left, Farias was asked to serve as interim dean of student.

“The person who is actually dean of student success is Lisa Alcorta, who is serving as interim vice president of student success since last fall,” Farias said.

Mark Bigelow, coordinator of student success in the office of student life, is serving as interim director of student life.

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