Presidential search firm chosen at board meeting

OCCC President Paul Sechrist

The next step in the search for OCCC’s next president —  selecting a search firm — has been completed.

The Board of Regents selected Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) at a special meeting Jan. 9, said Teresa Moisant, Board of Regents chair.

“Following a recommendation from the Board of Regents Presidential Search Committee, the Board approved ACCT Executive Search Services to assist the Board in the search for the next president of the College,” Moisant said.  “ACCT has extensive experience in helping community colleges in the process of selecting presidents.”

Moisant said having an outside search firm assisting the Board “will ensure that the process is done professionally.”

Regents presidential search committee chair Helen Camey said two firms responded to the request for proposal — Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and Schnake Turnbo Frank (STF).

“The two that did reply back are two good firms,” Camey said.

Proposals were received from the firms on Dec. 1 and opened at 5 p.m. The committee — Camey, Regent Lenora Burdine and Regent Christie Burgin — met Dec. 2, then  brought the information to the special Board of Regents meeting held Dec. 3.

She said the detailed proposals and Skype interviews with representatives from both firms had given the committee too much information to process during their two-hour meeting on Dec. 2.

“The meeting was good,” Camey said. “The Skype sessions were good. … The proposals that they returned were longer and more detailed than we were expecting.”

The committee asked for more time to go over the information, she said.

A second special meeting was set because, Camey said, the January board meeting was scheduled for later in the month and a decision needed to be made.

Camey said the committee had requested a two-tiered proposal.

Regents asked search firms to set one fee for an internal search within the college and a separate fee for the external search if one is desired, Camey said.

She said both search firms suggested the college go directly to a national search with the presidential search instead of starting internally.

In a previous special meeting of the Board of Regents on Nov. 18, the board had decided in a 6-to-1 vote that the search for the college’s next president will start first within the walls of the college. Camey cast the dissenting vote.

With the new recommendation, Camey asked that the vote be reconsidered during the Jan. 9 meeting.

“My opinion obviously hasn’t changed on this,” she said.

“Again, I’m one board member, one vote, but I would be remiss as being on this committee by not bringing it to your attention of what they (both firms) recommended, not solicited … .”

However, other regents said they had already made the decision.

“I think the board has spoken,”  said Regent Rick Moore.

“I think you tell someone like that, the board has voted, this is what we’re going to do, and you guys are going to do what we say,” Moore said.

The next regular regents meeting is at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 26, in the Al Snipes Board Room on campus.

The meeting is open to the public.

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