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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Editorial – Chancellor search offered open process

Suzann Clay/The Collegian
Suzann Clay/The Collegian

Nearly a whole year removed from the death of Erma Johnson Hadley, the college has her successor. For the most part, the board of trustees had a transparent process finding Chancellor Eugene Giovannini.

Suzann Clay/The Collegian
Suzann Clay/The Collegian

 

After selecting a firm to assist the college’s board with the national search in February, Gold Hill Associates’ ambitious schedule promised TCC a chancellor by the start of the fall semester.

And they delivered.

From the beginning, the search firm and TCC made sure to make the process visible. Members of staff, faculty, the student body and the community surrounding TCC were given the chance to express what they wanted in the next chancellor. These comments were then compiled into a candidate profile given to everyone looking to apply for the position.

Once the process kicked off, anyone could log onto TCC’s main website and click a link that would give detailed steps in the search process. The timeline detailed when applications closed and candidate interviews began. Board meetings offered updates on the search and provided the public with any important dates coming up.

Most importantly, the board even offered a choice between two candidates. While this seems innocuous, it’s actually not a requirement. Many universities and colleges will announce the finalists for chancellor and then only name one person, leaving no options. This is something TCC has done in the past. The last search for a chancellor, the board only named one finalist. Having two finalists meant there was an either/or, giving the community of faculty, staff, students and Tarrant County residents two different options.

People both present at the forum and livestreaming from elsewhere could submit questions. Faculty who returned during summer break got a chance to meet with the candidates and make their own comments to the board that were then taken into consideration for final decisions.

All of this is to say that, for the most part, this process was open. People who wanted a say in the process could make their voices be heard. But in the same breath, there was still a lack of student participation.

To get a chancellor by August, the announcement of chancellor finalists occurred during the summer along with the public forum. This is where finalists were questioned and examined for the first time publicly through the lens of a contender.

This took place in early June when most TCC students were just starting summer break or starting back to their hefty work schedules. Other students may not have been as aware of the process or know that the college was looking for a new chancellor.

Either way, this process could have been even more open by finding a way to actively seek out student opinions and student input every step of the way or at least included them more in the beginning stage of offering ideas to help build the candidate profile and at the public forum so they could ask questions and physically see this process at work. Many students never even meet the chancellor properly during their time at TCC.

When all is said and done, the board and the search firm did a good job keeping everyone informed on the process and what they looked for in a candidate as well as keeping everyone up to date with how the search was going all the way through to naming the new chancellor.

It seems the board chose well with Giovannini and, hopefully, won’t have to go through this process again for a long time.

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