Sunday, May 28 , 2017, 5:51 am | Fair 51º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Hancock College Names Finalists for President Job

The search for Allan Hancock College’s next president has been narrowed to three finalists.

Making the final candidate cut are Luis Sanchez, Hancock’s vice president of academic affairs; Christopher Villa, Fresno City College vice president of student services; and Las Positas College President Kevin Walthers.

Hancock board chairman Larry Lahr announced the finalists in an email message to members of the college community this week.

The three finalists, who initially were interviewed by the presidential search committee last week, will appear during a candidate forum Thursday at the college’s Santa Maria campus. The forum is open to faculty and others in the college community, and is not for members of the public.

A search committee has been working since January to find a permanent replacement for José Ortiz, who left last June to head the Peralta Community College District in Oakland.

Betty Miller, former vice president and director of administrative services, has been serving as interim president until trustees can find a replacement to take over no later than July 1.

Although Miller initially applied for the permanent post, she subsequently removed herself from consideration for reasons a college spokeswoman wouldn’t provide.

Trustees are set to conduct final interviews Friday, with a likely appointment for the permanent job at a May 21 board meeting.

Search committee co-chair Margaret Tillery told Noozhawk that the committee interviewed nine candidates last Tuesday through Thursday. Although it was a nationwide search, all those interviewed were from California, she added.

“The committee was pleased with the quality and diversity of the pool and the level of knowledge and professionalism of the candidates,” said Tillery, who works in Hancock’s learning assistance program. “Given the strength of the pool, it was challenging to reach consensus on the three finalists. But, after lengthy discussion of each candidate’s strengths and areas of possible concern, the committee felt confident that we had identified the three candidates who are best prepared to lead the college.

“We look forward to the board of trustee’s final selection and to welcoming the next president of Allan Hancock College,” she concluded.

Sanchez was hired at Hancock College in 2011. He serves as the chief instructional officer of the college and has responsibility for all instruction, including credit, noncredit and community education programs. Prior to Hancock, Sanchez spent 20 years as a professor and dean at Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif.

Villa is in his fourth year at Fresno City College. According to the college’s website, he has more 30 years of experience in higher education, and close to 20 of those years have been in management positions.

Walthers has been president of Las Positas College since August 2011. He previously served as the vice chancellor for administration for the West Virginia Community and Technical College System and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, according to the Las Positas College website.

On Thursday, each candidate will be given 45 minutes to explain to the Hancock community why he should be chosen as president. Walthers will go first, followed by Sanchez and Villa.

“Each candidate will have an opportunity to individually provide brief opening remarks, respond to questions predetermined by the college community, and provide closing remarks,” Lahr wrote in the message to staff.

Those attending the forum will be able to provide feedback to the board of trustees via a brief online survey.

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.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >