The Search is On for a New Pasadena City College Superintendent-President

Published : Monday, January 8, 2018 | 6:44 PM

The search for a new Pasadena City College Superintendent-President is underway to replace current President Dr. Rajen Vurdien, who announced he will retire in June.

Board of Trustees members have enlisted a Sacramento-based firm to assist in finding the most qualified candidate in a competitive nationwide search.

PCC will be hosting three public search forums in Pasadena and neighboring cities starting Tuesday night to gather input from the community about the kind of leadership qualities the community seeks and to address concerns that come with high stakes leadership transition.

“I think every Trustee will tell you this is the most important decision we can make,” said Pasadena City College Board of Trustees member Dr. Ross Selvidge.

“We approve the budget and other things, but every once in a while, you hire a president and it’s extremely important because it has long term implications,” Selvidge added.

Last year, current President-Superintendent Vurdien advised the board that he would be entering retirement effective June 30, 2018.

PCC’s Board called for proposals from agencies that specialize in assisting colleges in conducting searches for high-ranking positions.

The search process began in October 2017 and the board selected the Sacramento-based consulting group Collaborative Brain Trust.

A new Superintendent-President will be appointed no later than July 1.

“It is a competitive search. It tends to be a national search and certainly we will have a focus within the state of california, but there are candidates from all over the nation,” said Collaborative Brain Trust consultant Sandra Serrano.

Serrano brings 37 years higher education experience both in the California State University and community college systems and retired with a CEO position.

Serrano and her team at the Collaborative Brain Trust are confident they will find a qualified candidate in time.

“PCC has a great reputation a successful community college. That bodes well for the search. The location, the history, its successes in general attracts extremely qualified candidates,” Serrano explained.

Serrano says recent years have produced tremendous turnover in CEO’s, particularly in community colleges nationwide.

“That is challenge we hope to overcome,” Serrano said.

According to Selvidge, the last search process which took place three years ago went beyond campus borders once finalists were selected.

“Three trustees and a student trustee went to each of the three colleges where the individuals were coming from and we talked with people there,” said Selvidge.

The Board of Trustees will decide on an application packet to release to prospective candidates which will contain a finalized job description following the next board meeting on January 24.

“We’re not going to finish that until we have these community forums and those community forums are where we would like to get input from members of the community on what they would like to see in a president and also, what they would like us to mention if anything that is of particular interest to members of the community in our package that goes out that prospective applicants would see,” said Selvidge.

The first forum is set for Tuesday, January 9 at 6:00 p.m. at John Muir High School, at 1905 North Lincoln Avenue in Pasadena.

On Wednesday, two forums will be conducted. The first will start at 12 noon on the PCC Foothill campus at 3035 East Foothill Boulevard in Pasadena. The final forum will be held Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. in the Rosemead Public Library, at 800 Valley Boulevard in Rosemead.




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