Out of 96 applications in what Superintendent/President Lori Gaskin said was a nationwide “extensive recruitment and hiring process,” Harper will begin his new position in September.
“This is a pretty important moment,” Gaskin said. “And the individual who’s before you stood tall amongst the candidates.”
Other college officials also expressed their “joy” of having Harper on board.
Dr. Jack Friedlander, executive vice president for educational programs, shared that he has received great support in favor of the newly chosen executive director and that he’s sure “this will be successful.”
The center is fairly new, having been introduced in late 2012, and is a development of the Continuing Education after its courses became fee based.
“This is a good one,” trustee Marty Blum said about the selection of Harper as director. “We went from 50/50 percent chance of succeeding to at least 90 percent.”
The rest of the meeting touched on sports athletics, accreditation and the Measure V bond.
Gaskin presented a 129-page response to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges that was put together by a task force.
Multiple surveys were done last fall and will be repeated in the spring to see further development, Gaskin said. The response states the college must have approached the commission’s findings of mismanagement and improved.
“Healing needs to continue and trust needs to be built,” the document states. “The institution is committed to making this happen…”
However, the diagrams presented in the response from the surveys still show a split opinion among faculty and staff.
On the question of whether the board “acts in a manner consistent with its policies and bylaws,” 31.2 percent said they agree and 25.4 percent said they don’t. The rest — 43.4 percent — were equally split between “neutral” and “no knowledge about this/does not apply.”
“I do think it states with honesty what’s going on right now, and what went on,” trustee Lisa Macker said.
A team from the commission will visit the campus at future dates to “validate” the statements.