Nearly 20 people spoke, all in favor of Serban, with several carrying signs of support.
Speakers encouraged the board to give Serban a good evaluation, which has now included more than 10 hours of discussion as of Wednesday evening’s session.
The board is in the midst of conducting its first evaluation of Serban under a new majority elected last November. Since then, the relationship has continued to fray and has become the source of more speculation as discussions have drawn out.
Speakers on Wednesday admonished SBCC’s trustees to set aside their differences with Serban, with one speaker even advancing to the dais and laying down an actual olive branch before board member Marty Blum and board president Peter Haslund. Another conjured up a quote from Abraham Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech.
Others just seemed ready to see the process reach completion.
“It’s really important that we move on from here,” said Liz Auchincloss, a staff member who works in the college’s Technical Services department. “I hope you can make a decision soon, because it’s causing a lot of stress with staff.”
After an hour of public comment, board members adjourned to closed session for discussion.
Noozhawk checked in Thursday with Haslund to see whether any action was taken, but he revealed little.
Haslund wouldn’t say whether the board had made any decisions or what happens now. There’s no scheduled meeting on the topic yet either.
Reticent, Haslund said the trustees can’t talk about anything that goes on in their closed-session meetings evaluating Serban, to be fair to all parties involved.
“It will be concluded shortly, I would hope,” he said. “My guess is it’s nearing the end of the process, but I’ve been wrong before. … We’re being thorough, being fair and hopefully being helpful, and this just has to take its time.”
— Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at email@example.com. Intern Daniel Langhorne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.