Pima Community College will be hosting its second public forum tonight, introducing its candidates for the chancellor spot.
It's part of our continuing coverage on the PCC probation troubles and we'll be following the four chancellor candidates all week.
Tonight we heard from Terrence Burgess, who was a chancellor finalist before the Higher Learning Commission came down with that scathing report, attacking PCC leadership.
He says PCC's problems are serious but fixable.
Burgess says he's part of a team currently working with a couple of schools that, like Pima, meet academic standards but are on probation for issues with the people running the college.
He said if he's chosen as chancellor, fixing PCC will start with a self-study.
"Where the board has a complete understanding of what it is that occurred that led to an action by the commission that placed the institution on probation and for the board to provide the vision and the leadership in terms of the policy level, not at micro-management level," he said.
Terrence burgess has spent many years in college leadership: one dozen years as a vice president of instruction at Irvine Valley College and about a dozen years as the president of his current place, San Diego City College.
Tonight he answered questions on how he'll work with governing board members whom some people are actually trying to kick out.
Burgess says like them or not, board members are probably here to stay, so the public should get comfortable working with them to make PCC a better place.
He says he'll get to know each member one on one and then reinforce what the board is supposed to do.
"To remind them continuously that their role is to operate at the policy level that they do not have authority as individual members. They only have authority when they act as a board. I think that part of the failing of the prior leadership of the district was the failure to properly develop the board," he said.
Burgess has served as one of the people who goes to different schools evaluating their accreditation. He says he knows how to identify and fix problems.
Burgess was a finalist earlier this year before Pima Community College decided to conduct a new search when two other candidates dropped out.
Burgess is currently the president of San Diego City College. Burgess was formerly president of Chabot College in Hayward, CA, and he has a background in teaching biology in a number of community colleges and state schools.
Chancellor candidate Lee Lambert was the focus of the first PCC forum last night. Wednesday's forum will feature candidate Greg Smith, and the final forum on Thursday will feature candidate Lenora Etna Webb.
The forum starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Community Board Room (C-105) of PCC's District Office, 4905 E. Broadway. The meeting will be streamed live on the internet on the PCC's chancellor search page here: www.pima.edu/about-pima/chancellor-search/index.html
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