Righting the Ship

Righting the Ship

PCC Board of Trustees searches for interim president while bracing for accreditation

By André Coleman 08/28/2014

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Pasadena City College officials began the search for an interim president last week.


In an Aug. 22 memo, Executive Human Resources Director Terri Hampton invited campus employees to apply for the position.


But the interim superintendent will face some enormous challenges in the coming months that could determine the college’s future for years.


“The district currently faces a number of challenges, and opportunities that will be central concerns for the Superintendent/President.” the memo states. 


The college’s last president, Dr. Mark Rocha, announced his retirement on Aug. 7 after a tumultuous three years at the school.


In March, the college will go through the accreditation process, which ensures that education provided by institutions of higher education meets the state’s acceptable levels of quality. 


Colleges without accreditation cannot issue federal financial aid, and student course credits are not accepted by other colleges. 


After City College of San Francisco lost its accreditation in 2013 enrollment plummeted by 15 percent.


PCC has already received reports on this year’s enrollment numbers and will receive a preliminary report on registration.


The interim superintendent will also have to help repair the chasm between president’s office, the Faculty Senate and the Associated Student Body (ASB). 


Faculty members successfully sued the college earlier this year after the Board of Trustees decided not to hold winter intersession classes without first conducting the proper shared governance negotiations with the Faculty Senate.


The move also angered members of the ASB. Without those classes, students were unable to get past junior college and into four-year universities. In January, a judge ruled the board’s action, based on Rocha’s recommendation, was illegal, ordering the school to pay back wages, with interest, to all the teachers who missed out on teaching those winter classes.


“We are both looking internally and externally at applicants,” said Trustee Ross Selvidge. “Right now, we are really occupied with accreditation, which is coming up in March. It is very important. If the college is not accredited, there would be large ramifications.”


Minimum requirements for the job include a master’s degree and five years of senior administrative leadership.


All applications must be in by Tuesday. Interviews will be held on Wednesday.

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