Posted on: March 26, 2023 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Graphic by Emily Stephens

By Nick Stulga, Editor-in-Chief

The person chosen to lead Moraine Valley as its next president will need a range of skills, but the most important is a focus on students.

“Our main quality we’re looking for is a candidate that has student-centered success,” said Board of Trustees Chair Brian O’Neill. “That’s the main goal: to make sure our students are successful with their time at Moraine.”

The application period officially closed on March 20, and the next stage of the search is underway: The search consultant firm Pauly Group will be narrowing down the applicants to eight to 10 semifinalists, O’Neill said.

From there, a 19-person committee consisting of representatives from different parts of the college–Board of Trustees members, a student, faculty and people from various MV departments–will narrow the list to three or four finalists through a series of interviews in mid-April. 

These finalists will be invited to do on-campus interviews with students and faculty in the first two weeks of May. They will also meet with the Board of Trustees.

In addition to a track record of being student-centered, the board is looking for is strong knowledge of the community college industry, good organizational and time management skills, being a “self-starter,” and aiding in program development, O’Neill said.

The college started developing the search profile–which gives candidates an idea of what is to be expected of them in the position–in January, less than a month after current President Sylvia Jenkins announced her retirement at the Dec. 20 Board of Trustees meeting.

Compared to the way most college employment processes work, the search is on a relatively fast timeline.

“In this case we basically had six weeks’ notice,” MV director of marketing and communications Clare Briner said. Therefore, she said, the college had to “customize the search to fit that timeframe.”

When it comes down to the end, the Board of Trustees gets the final say. 

“The main job of the entire board is to make sure the college president is the right person for that job,” O’Neill said.

The new president will be named at the May 16 board meeting.