Pima Community College will be hosting its third public forum tonight, introducing its candidates for the next chancellor. 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 hear from Greg Smith, President of Central Community College in Grand Island, Nebraska. It's part of our continuing commitment to bring you the latest on all four candidates and how PCC plans to fix its probation problems.
Smith rose through the ranks at his current college, starting first as dean of academic services, and then moving on to executive vice president of the institution. He has a degree in experimental social psychology.
Smith is the third chancellor candidate to take questions from the public but he started off the meeting by handing out a statement on how he will require board members to conduct themselves with civility and integrity.
He is currently president of Central Community College in Grand Island, Nebraska, and he didn't sugar coat PCC's leadership problems.
He described the board's response to the Higher Learning Commission report as "dismissive and arrogant," a perspective that audience members seemed to agree with.
Smith says he will not accept the chancellor job unless each board member signs off on the civility statement and reaffirms their oath of office.
From there, Smith says he will help each board member perform at their best.
"One thing that I will ask each board member to do is to assess their own areas of strength and decide where it might be appropriate for them to engage in professional development and then commit to that."
Tonight, he laid out plans to work productively with a board that faculty and staff don't seem to trust.
Right now, he works with a total of eleven board members at his present college.
Smith says he would also meet with the interim chancellor and various PCC groups in his first days as chancellor because his his wife has been a teacher in other colleges.
"I have many years of experience seeing how hard adjunct faculty work and how dedicated they are to students so my basic objective is to make sure that everybody that has a role at the college has a voice at the college."
Smith has been a reviewer with the Higher Learning Commission, the same group that placed PCC on probation.
Members of the public, including PCC faculty, staff, and board members of past and present, have used the forums to ask candidates how they will move the college forward, deal with a dysfunctional board, and use a management style to include input from PCC members.
Candidates Lee Lambert and Terrence Burgess held their forums earlier this week. Tomorrow's forum 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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