Additional reporting by: Fahema Kakar
The incoming chancellor for the Los Angeles Community College District must be responsible with accreditation, accountable and available for the long term, according to Pierce College administrators, faculty and staff.
The aggregation of campus officials was given the chance to contribute to the chancellor profile that will help narrow down the pool of applicants for the position during a forum hosted Monday, May 14 by a national search team helping the LACCD with the process.
The current chancellor, Daniel LaVista will be resigning after his contract with the district ends on June 30.
Similar forums are taking place in the other eight colleges in the district. From these meetings, the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) will be developing the finalized profile, which will be posted in the next week or two in a search site dedicated to the application process.
“We’re working very hard to come up with a recruitment strategy that will work with this district. Obviously, the LA district is very different and unique compared to other districts in the country,” said Julie Golder, search services coordinator/board of services specialist from the ACCT. “The profile plays a key role in the recruitment strategy.”
One of the biggest issues that the district as a whole is going through is the number of LACCD colleges that have gotten sanctions following accreditation reviews. All of the three colleges visited last year, as well as two of the three campuses visited this year, have had their accreditation threatened.
“Once the stigma is out there, it’s damaging to the district,” said Tom Rosdahl, president of Academic Senate. “If half of the district is under sanctions, people aren’t going to want to come here. We need a chancellor that understands the accreditation process in the state of California.”
Another issue brought up by officials is accountability between the district and campus leadership.
“The chancellor needs to make administration and staff all along the line accountable,” Rosdahl said. “You can’t have people in jobs they can’t do. We’ve had college presidents in the past that should’ve gone bye-bye but was able to continue.”
Officials are additionally concerned with the quality of leadership that prospects will possess.
“We need somebody who’s going to lead, not somebody who will make a committee to lead,” De La Garza said.
The future chancellor’s long-term commitment to the position is also something that concerns Pierce officials.
“[He should be here] long enough to make changes,” Perrett said. “That’s the way the system is set up, unfortunately.”
This is something that was acknowledged by LaVista in a letter sent out by his office last February.
“The Chancellor who leads this… district must take the long view and make a long-term commitment, something I’m unable to do,” according to the email.
Golder said that she doesn’t expect a large pool of candidates for the position.
“There will not be 100 applicants. We’ve never seen that,” Golder said.
After the applicants are narrowed down, the process goes to a search committee, then is brought to the LACCD board of trustees for the final decision.
According to Golder, the final profile should be done by the next LACCD board of trustees meeting. Once that is done, the interviews will take place mid-September, and the final decision should be made by the end of September or beginning of October.