College regents moving forward with presidential search planning

The search for a new OCCC college president is off to a slow start, but the OCCC Board of Regents is still moving forward to put together plans for hiring one.

Regent Christie Burgin told the board at its regular meeting last month she had planned to hold an initial presidential hiring committee meeting in February to lay out some groundwork and initial processes for a presidential search, but a historic snow storm caused the meeting to be canceled. 

Burgin told the board that even though the meeting was canceled, she has been taking time to investigate some best practice methods of starting a presidential search.

She’s been examining search committee checklists and reading articles including those about regents and faculty working together as part of a hiring process, she said.

Burgin said she has also done investigations into using a professional search firm to aid in finding a new OCCC president, focusing on ones that are used for community college hirings.

“I think that is critical because community colleges are different from universities and especially from the research instructions.”

However, before a search firm could be hired, the board must first make some decisions about board policies as they relate to the president,  including what the president’s responsibilities will be, Burgin said.

“That’s a very critical first step we need to take,” she said.

Burgin also asked all employees and board members to send information they may come across about hiring a college president to the board.

“If any board members or [employees]  see information, webinars, or articles that are pertinent, please… please pass those along,” she said.

Board of Regents Executive Assistant Roshell Roberts’ email is

Board Chairman Devery Youngblood said he appreciated the time taken to review search firms and other information about starting a presidential search.

He added that he would like to get to the point where the board could start getting feedback from all college employees and other stakeholders as part of the president search soon.

Youngblood reaffirmed that the board wanted the hiring process to be as transparent as possible.

“Maximum input is something all of you have said you wanted to see and I want to ensure anybody listening [to the meeting] that’s what this board wants,” Youngblood said.

“We want it to be very clear where we are headed and what’s going on.”