Trustees seek help finding president

By Izzy Anderson - Staff Reporter

Highline's Board of Trustees is beginning the process of finding candidates for the presidential search, and they want help from students, staff and faculties.

The Board of Trustees gathered for a special board meeting on Oct. 30 regarding the start of their search for a new president. 

While the Board will have the final say, it was unanimously agreed that the Highline campus is to be involved in the process too. 

"[We want to] give them the opportunity to participate and give input in this search," said Trustee Bob Roegner. 

"We could have a possible open forum conversation with questions like 'What is most important to you [in a president]?' and 'What should that look like?" said Interim President Jeff Wagnitz. 

Input on what the students, staff and faculty want in a president is crucial, it's important for them to be heard, Wagnitz said.

"What we're looking for is what makes us different, what do we need to include in this [presidential] profile?" said Trustee Fred Mendoza. 

The Board of Trustees has also identified eight constituencies who will be represented on the search committee.

"I'm a little disappointed we couldn't find a retiree to be a member of the constituency… if any of these eight drop out, maybe we would consider one," said Trustee Dan Altmayer.

The current constituencies, aside from two Trustees, includes two faculty members, a classified employee, a student, interim president Dr. Jeff Wagntiz as a representative for executive staff, a member of the equity task force, a Foundation member, and one individual recommended by executive staff. 

The Trustees are now looking into hiring college placement company Gold Hill Associates to assist in the search. 

"Ninety percent of [Gold Hill's] searches resulted in placements of CEOs who have lasted five years or more," said Altmayer.

 "It was always important [that] we get the best search firm, not the cheapest search firm," Trustees Chair Debrina Jackson Gandy said.

Gold Hill Associates have worked with over 131 community and technical colleges across the country, and 25 in Washington alone. Their main office is located in Asheville, North Carolina. 

With the search now including eight constituencies and Gold Hill Associates, the Board is looking at a long road ahead. 

"These past several months have been a lot of work, and the next several months are going to be even more work," said Roegner.

There will also be a website with information on updates to the presidential search, potential candidates, and qualities that are wanted in a candidate. 

Students, staff and faculty will be able to post suggestions and comments too. This site will be up and available by mid-November.

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