It appears Pima Community College may have a top candidate for the chancellor position.
During today's Pima Community College governing board meeting, the board voted to authorize travel for two board members and three employees early next week to visit Lee Lambert, president of Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, Wash., a Seattle suburb.
According to C.J. Karamargin, PCC's vice chancellor for public information and government relations, the visit is part of the search's due diligence process.
"Clearly Dr. Lambert has emerged as the leading candidate to be the next chancellor," Karamargin told The Range today.
Comments on feedback forms online and in person as part of the search process has a clear preference for Lambert. However, there remain other formalities before the board votes to give Lambert the job.
Karamargin said the plan from the beginning as the board formed the search process was to select a new chancellor by spring 2013 and have someone hired by July 1. Interim chancellor Zelema Harris is on board through June with a possibly extension offered if needed through August.
"There's a time element here and another reason to move quickly," he said. "The Higher Learning Commission and the college's probationary status."
The college must file its first report to the commission by Aug 1. The board wants to have a chancellor in place before that deadline.
According to an April 21 story in the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Patch, this is what the Shoreline Community College board president had to say about Lambert and his PCC candidacy:
"I love Shoreline and I’m happy to continue the work we are doing,” Lambert said. “At the same time, I am “We want President Lambert to stay at Shoreline, period. However, the Shoreline Community College Board of Trustees understands that the same qualities that make him so valuable and effective at Shoreline also make him attractive to other community colleges,” Board Chair Phil Barrett said. “College employees, students and the communities we serve should know that regardless of the outcome, the Board is committed to the academic values and institutional goals that are in place and that President Lambert is pursuing with such success.”
Here's what Lambert had to say about PCC:
“There are challenges, but I enjoy addressing challenges,” Lambert said. He noted that the probation notice doesn’t cite anything related to academics. “Pima has good academic programs and faculty and staff who are very committed to student success.”