Last Remaining Pasadena City College Superintendent-President Candidate Drops Out of Race; PCC’s Academic Senate Decries Vetting Process

Published : Wednesday, May 2, 2018 | 8:00 AM

[Updated]  It’s now anyone’s guess as to who will permanently fill Dr. Rajen Vurdien’s shoes as Pasadena City College Superintendent-President. The final candidate, Dr. Cliff Davis, president at Ozarks Technical Community College System in Springfield, Mo., has withdrawn his name from the running, the college announced today.

The only other finalist candidate, Dr. Byron Breland, pulled out of the race on April 25 after taking a job at interim Chancellor of the San Jose Evergreen Community College District.

This leaves PCC with a continuing search and no current candidates in the running.

Also, PCC’s Academic Senate on May 1 sent a strongly-worded letter to the Board of Trustees demanding that they declare a failed search for the position. They expressed their concerns about the selection process in the letter, claiming there was a lack of transparency in the hiring process. The letter also stated that should the board ignore the requests put forth by the Senate, the faculty would be forced to take action in a vote of no confidence or a potential walk out.

On Monday night, the Senate met with students, faculty and community members to voice their concerns. Several speakers questioned Davis’ experience and ability to promote equity on campus. One Academic Senate board member, Shelagh Rose, asked the Trustees to declare a failed search, and undertake a different selection process.

Now that Davis has dropped out of the race, PCC Board of Trustee President Dr. Anthony Fellow canceled Monday’s community forum and said the board would meet this week to decide its next steps.

“This was very unfortunate, but it shows the quality of the finalists selected by the Board of Trustees. Each had exceptional records as professors, administrators, and evidence of scholarship with published research. In addition, they were very devoted to student success and were popular and innovative leaders on their current campuses,” Fellow said.

Superintendent-President Dr. Rajen Vurdien is retiring at the end of June.

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