Highline's presidential search underway

By Thunderworld Staff

Highline's Board of Trustees has started their search for a new president after Dr. Jack Bermingham stepped down in July. 

The Trustees, in addition to partnering with a national search firm to find their candidate, also appointed eight community members to help look for a new president, as well as planning listening sessions to find out what the college and community want.

In the spirit of letting our Board of Trustees know what we hope they keep in mind during their search, the Thunderword has come up with a few ideas.

Our new president should be experienced not only in education and leadership, but should also be able to understand and support Highline's diverse student body as well as the direction of the college itself.

First of all, experience in leadership is a given.

Highline's new president will be in charge of more than 17,000 students and faculty.

Serving this many people at the level of president without extensive leadership experience would definitely be bad for not only the students, but also the college itself in the long run.

Experience in education is also a must. Highline doesn't want its own Betsy DeVos.

Our new president should be an educator, preferably with classroom experience.

With a history in education, students and faculty will be able to rest easier about the decisions made at the very top. 

A president without education experience would likely increase the stress on students and faculty. As if midterms, finals and picking the right major aren't already stressful enough.

Next, we hope that the Trustees choose a president who understands how to interact with Highline's diversity in culture and ethnicity.

As this is a national search, it is important that the candidates being considered are no strangers to differing cultures.

Given the climate of racial tension in the national spotlight, Highline's next president must be able to be a president to every student and not just one demographic.

Lastly, our new president should continue in the direction the college is taking.

With the addition of four-year programs and dorms, Highline has changed into a college rather than just a community college.

These additions seem to be pushing Highline in the direction of expansion and our president should reflect that direction.

Our new president should be able to fill the shoes of those who came before.

Ultimately, this search should uphold Highline's tradition of picking great, long-term presidents, as Highline has only had six permanent presidents since its first in 1962.

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