College president semifinalists to be selected in August

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‘Still looking for one’

By Matt Hollis, The Baytown Sun

Lee College’s search for a new president is focused, according to regents on the search committee.

Regent Pete Alfaro, who is one of three regents serving on the committee. Regent Susan Moore-Fontenot is the committee’s chair, and Regent Mark Himsel is also on board.

“Everything is going as planned,” Alfaro said. “The bottom line is we are still looking for one, and we had over 50 candidates. But, the schedule has been pretty well consistent, and we are still targeting to get a president by October. That is the game plan.”

The committee was formed after Dr. Dennis Brown, the college’s current president, announced he was retiring in January 2020. Regents called in Dr. William Holda, a consultant with the Association of Community College Trustees, who has provided a detailed procedure of how the committee should approach hiring a new president. Thanks to Holda’s efforts, Moore was able to develop a schedule for regents to follow during the hiring process.

The search committee will now begin weighing individual applications starting next Tuesday through Aug. 2. Then, the search committee will select between seven and 12 semi-finalists on Aug. 6.

“The key thing is the board will deliberate and rank finalists in September,” Alfaro said.

Alfaro said the board will visit between Sept. 25 and 27, and begin salary negotiations afterward. Then, a new president would initially be approved on Sept. 30.

Following the Sept. 30 meeting, Alfaro said a 21-day waiting period would follow. Afterward, the board will finalize the new president’s approval on Oct. 24, which is 21 days plus the extra days included until the next board meeting.

Any candidate would not take office until Dr. Brown leaves in January 2020, Alfaro said.

“We wanted to have that overlap between the new and current president,” Alfaro said. “There is a lot of good stuff and everything we are doing we want that person to know and help them out. It will make for a smooth transition.”

Brown is the ninth president of the college. He previously came from El Paso Community College where he was the vice president of instruction and chief academic officer. Brown served at the El Paso college beginning in 1999.

(Reposted with the permission of The Baytown Sun.)