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Allan Hancock College Won’t Use Presidential Search Firm

Human resources director tapped to take charge of the search

Allan Hancock College will not hire a presidential search firm and instead will have its human resources director lead the process.

Hancock College will not use a search firm to find a replacement for José Ortiz.
Hancock College will not use a search firm to find a replacement for José Ortiz.

The college is seeking a permanent replacement for José Ortiz, who left in June to head the Peralta Community College District in Oakland.

Betty Miller, former vice president and director of administrative services, has been serving as president in the interim until trustees can find a replacement by the end of the 2012-13 academic year.

Trustees earlier this month decided to put Cynthia Mesaros, director of human resources, in charge of the search, said Rebecca Alarcio, interim vice president of Student Affairs.

Not hiring an outside search firm will save the college thousands of dollars.

The decision came after trustees removed an item to approve a presidential search firm consultant from the Aug. 21 board meeting agenda.

At that meeting, both faculty and classified staff spoke out against paying for a search firm consultant during a time of repeated budget cuts.

Faculty Association Vice President Roger Hall said this week that it makes more sense to save money by using the framework of the last search firm, which found Ortiz.

“We don’t do that for any other hire on campus,” Hall said, adding that an outside firm doesn’t guarantee a better candidate. “Certainly the prudent decision.”

Kelly Underwood, classified staff union president, echoed Hall’s sentiment.

“I’m pleased that the board made this decision,” Underwood said this week. “It sounds like they were listening.”

Mesaros will make a recommendation regarding the recruitment and selection process for a permanent president at Hancock’s Oct. 16 board meeting.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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