The Pima Community College Governing Board announced today that it has chosen Dr. Lee Lambert as the school's new chancellor.
The vote was unanimous and there were no reservations among any board member.
Lambert will make a base salary of $290,000. He will also be given a $30,000 tax-sheltered annuity and an $850 per month car allowance.
Lambert has been at Shoreline Community College in suburban Seattle since 2006. It was his work there that impressed the board.
When he came to Shoreline, the college was facing adversity. Lambert guided the school through a turnaround and into better times.
A Tucson group traveled to Washington State to talk with students and faculty at Shoreline Community College about their president.
The group was very impressed with how the 150 people they talked with responded to questions about Lambert.
"Every single one of them said he saved this school," said Governing Board Member Sylvia Lee, PhD.
Pima's board expressed the hope that Lambert will use this experience to help guide PCC, which was recently placed on probation by the Higher Learning Commission, out of its own troubles.
"Any time an institution finds themselves on probation you've got to take it with the highest seriousness" he said. "So I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm not concerned."
But if you have the right kind of values in place, you can overcome whatever the challenge may be," he said.
We caught up with Dr. Lambert by phone in his office at Shoreline CC.
He says he will be more community minded that the previous administration might have been.
"I want to be as open and as accessible as I can be to the community, he told us by phone. "And from what I'm picking up that has not always been the case."
He said he wants to put the community in Community College.
Lambert emerged late last week as the leading candidate among four finalists. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army who was born in Korea and grew up on three continents.
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