Have A Say In The Next President For Merced College

By  John Derby
Times Publisher
July 28, 2016

Merced County residents have an opportunity to have a say in the next president of Merced College, and a series of meetings have been held for that purpose.
The response has been light considering the importance of this one person and the future of our community college.
We have been treated with front page, expose-type articles in the daily press, implying that the college and its interim administrator has used the position to achieve personnel (political) ends, however, the articles have been one-sided because anything said by the interim president could become a legal issue or a personnel issue which she can not discuss under normal contract negotiations.
Besides, Susan Walsh, the interim president has repeatedly said that she has no interest in becoming the full-time president, and she has encouraged the community to get involved in the selection of a new president of Merced College.
In selection of a new Merced College President there are several issues involved.
Should the new president be a local resident? Should he or she come from Merced County, the San Joaquin Valley or the State of California?
Should he or she be open to the local community on a regular basis?
Once hired, should he or she live in Merced County?
What kind of a background should the new president have? Must he or she be a president of another college? Should he or she be on the administrative staff of another college? How important are credentials to the new president?
Is anyone on the present staff of Merced College qualified to become the new president? If so, who would that be? Would someone from UC Merced be acceptable as the new president? If so, why? If not, why not?
What would be the goals of the new president? Can these goals be broken down into Merced College goals, personal goals or community goals?
Should a new president be involved in community clubs and organizations? How important is open contact with the community be? How important is an Open Door policy on campus where staff and students can communicate with the new president? Should a separate time be set up specially for such an Open Door Policy to function?
Finally, in response to some of the front page articles in the news recently: Should the Merced College President and the Board of Directors of the college have a say in how the Merced College police department conducts itself on campus?


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