Board makes strides in president quest
By Robin Morales
The LCC Board of Trustees hosted two sessions of public discussion on Jan. 16 to evaluate the most important goals and attributes for the college’s next president.
Facilitated in the Gannon Building’s Michigan Room by Betty Asher from Greenwood/Asher & Associates, several LCC faculty and staff members offered their opinions on challenges and successes impacting the college. These included declining enrollment, internal tensions and the image of LCC in the wider community.
“One of the first things that a new president needs to be able to do is to begin to build trust in the campus community,” said Alex Azima, who has worked at the college for more than 40 years.
“(The president needs) to promote a culture of respect, accountability, transparency, approach the campus with a collaborative spirit.”
Added Toni Glasscoe, associate vice president for external affairs, development and K-12 operations at LCC: “We need a president that will listen and also sustain some of the amazing work that our faculty, our staff, our leaders, have started.”
President of the Academic Senate Michelle Curtin also chimed in.
“I think a good quality would be someone who understands that we are much better off when all of our voices are heard and that, in order for that to happen, it has to be an intentional effort.”
Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Tonya Bailey also spoke on the topic of inclusion.
“My hope is that this next individual … will be vocal and bold to support marginalized and minoritized populations that tend to not feel welcome,” Dr. Bailey said. “This president has to be a leader as well as a champion for inclusion.”
Biology Professor Steven Klimecky said: “There is an impression that he (President Brent Knight) seemed to be more concerned with how the campus looked … being more concerned with things and aesthetics than people. We need a person-centered president. Centered on faculty, staff and students.”
Women’s Basketball Coach Layne Ingram concluded the afternoon’s discussion by saying: “People need to feel like they’re valued, that they’re appreciated, that their opinion matters.
“There’s lots of opportunity here, but it really is about the people.”
A resolution appointing members of the 2020 Presidential Screening Committee will be adopted at the board’s regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Jan. 27. All board meetings are open to the public.