College seeks two vice presidents

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Three committees review two candidate pools before sending recommendations.

By M.J. Callahan

Two vice presidential searches have a combined 256 applicants for the vice president of academic success and vice president of student success positions.

Members filtered the applications to ensure all of the criteria for the position were met.

To apply for the vice president of student success position, applicants need a master’s degree or equivalent, however, a doctorate is preferred.

Applicants also need at least five years of experience in college administration with a focus in student services.

Among the vice president of student success committee members are Emma Mendiola, chair of student development; Chaye Peña, senior coordinator for student success; Martin Ortega, director of admission and records; Richard Farias, director of student life; and Mona Aldana-Ramirez, director of student success. The committee reviewed 138 applicants and narrowed them to 15.

For the vice president for academic success, the criteria included knowledge of academics in a multi-campus district.

A master’s degree and five years of experience in higher education administration are required.

Criminal justice Professor Tiffany Cox; mortuary science Professor Mary Mena; Said Fariabi, chair of math and computer science; and Lauri Metcalf, chair of American Sign Language and interpreter training, are working to narrow 118 applicants to 15-20.

Members had time to review candidates individually, and they compared notes Oct. 17 to narrow applicants before forwarding to the overarching committee, Cox said.

Dr. Robert Vela, president of this college, and foreign language Professor Tammy Perez assembled an overarching committee. Perez will serve as chair.

The committee will gather applications after the two search committees narrow the pools based on fulfillment of the positions’ requirements.

Overarching committee members are Dawn Elmore, president of Faculty Senate; Lauri Metcalf, chair of American Sign Language and interpreter training; Martin Ortega, director of enrollment; Karen Elliot, Student Government Association president; Analise Garza-Sengele, Staff Council president; Charles Hunt, coordinator of the management program in the business department; English Professor Patricia Portales; Lisa Alcorta, dean of student success; and Amanda Martin, Adjunct Faculty Council president.

Vela said the group may seem large but he wanted to ensure the college was being represented in all areas.

Perez said the group met for the first time Oct. 15.

Several of the committee members have never been a part of a committee like this, one on such a tight deadline, therefore the members have the weekend to review the applicants and bring their recommendations to the committee today.

The committee will reconvene at 1:30 p.m. for training with human resources before narrowing the applicant pool to a maximum of six for each position, Perez said.

After narrowing the candidate pool, the committee will send recommendations to Vela by Nov. 7 for review before setting up on-campus interviews with Faculty Senate, Staff Council, Student Affairs Council, the college executive team and an open forum for student questions.

Vela said he would like to have a decision by mid to late November to make it on the board’s agenda for December, making the new vice presidents active in their respective positions for the spring.

While this college is awaiting two new vice presidents, Dr. Kris Clark serves as interim vice president of student and academic success.

Clark served as executive vice president at this college from 2006-2008 before transferring to the district for a year as vice chancellor of academic success. Clark retired from the Alamo Colleges in 2010.

“SAC is one of those places,” Clark said. “You can take the person out of SAC but you can’t take SAC out of the person.”

Clark was an educator in New Mexico for 25 years before coming to this college.

“I will assist to identify the best candidates for each of those positions, but more then anything, my primary goal is to be able to pick up as much of the operational oversight for academic and student success areas as possible while I am here to free Vela to really move into all the responsibilities that are unique to the presidency,” Clark said.

“My goals would be to help identify what the first priorities will be for the two incoming vice presidents,” she said.

This college has a second vice president: David Mrizek, vice president of college services, who over sees construction and contracts.

The vice president of academic success will oversee requirements and improvements for education programs offered at this college.

The vice president of student success will oversee students’ overall well-being and student services, such as student life and the library.


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