SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

August 16, 2013

Our view: Public's input needed on new NSCC president

After a low-key, under-the-radar national search, the committee charged with finding a successor to retired North Shore Community College President Wayne Burton has come up with a list of five finalists:

Wildolfo Arvelo, president of Great Bay Community College in New Hampshire;

L. Joy Gates Black, vice chancellor for student success at Tarrant County College in Texas;

Patricia Gentile, dean of advancement, enrollment management and Cape May County Campus at Atlantic Cape Community College in New Jersey;

Gena Glickman, president of Manchester Community College in Connecticut; and

Janet Sortor, vice president and dean of academic affairs at Southern Maine Community College.

A 16-member presidential search committee selected the finalists from a group of 72 applicants.

Now it’s the public’s turn to weigh in. Each of the candidates will be visiting the NSCC campuses next month, and there are several opportunities for stakeholders to meet them in person. There are sessions set aside for students, teachers and staff.

There is also a chance for the community at large to meet the candidates, and it’s an opportunity the public should take advantage of. North Shore Community College plays a large role in civic life across Essex County, with almost 8,000 students spread across campuses in Danvers, Beverly and Lynn. By the college’s estimate, more than 220,000 local residents have taken courses there over the last 40 years.

There will be challenges in the years to come. Gov. Deval Patrick has pushed to have community colleges play a larger role in job training and workforce development and has overhauled several schools’ boards of trustees to achieve that goal. The state also plans to tie future community college funding to improvements in graduation rates and diversity, as well as a school’s ability to meet workforce needs.

It’s clear there’s a lot at stake for the entire community in the selection of the next president. Here are your chances to take part (all meetings begin at 8 a.m. On the Danvers campus):

L. Joy Gates Black, Sept. 10;

Janet Sortor, Sept .12;

Patricia Gentile, Sept. 17;

Wildredo Arvelo, Sept. 19;

Gena Glickman, Sept. 24

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