Green River College narrows search for president to 8 semifinalists

The search for the next president of Green River College is down to eight semifinalists.

The Presidential Search Advisory Committee — made up of students, faculty, staff and community representatives — reviewed 36 applicants and selected eight who will be interviewed by the committee during the next couple of weeks.

The committee will present four finalists to the Board of Trustees at the March 16 board meeting. The finalists will be invited to Green River’s campus to interview with the board the week of April 10. A special Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, to select the new president.

The college began the search for its next leader after Eileen Ely resigned last June following months of unrest on campus.

Scott Morgan, who retired as president of Spokane Community College in 2015, is serving as interim president until a permanent replacement is found.

Last fall, the board agreed to pay the new president $240,000 a year.

Choosing a new president is a time-sensitive issue, Trustee Linda Cowan said.

“Many candidates apply at more than one college,” Cowan said. “If we get too late in the game, we are going to have people withdrawing from their candidacy because they have been selected elsewhere. … The longer the process goes into the spring, the less candidates are available.”

Following the board interviews with the finalists, board Chair Claudia Kauffman and Vice-Chair Tim Clark will travel to the candidates’ current institutions for verification visits. Three other board members will serve as alternates for travel if needed.

Although the format of the finalists’ visit to Green River has not been decided, constituents – including students, faculty and staff – will have the opportunity to meet the candidates and give feedback.

Morgan provided the board during its Feb. 22 board meeting with basic demographic information about the semifinalists.

Of the eight candidates, five described themselves as white, one as Asian-other, one as other race/unidentified, and one declined to provide information on race. Five of the semifinalists are men, two are women, and one declined to give gender information.

Although he did not give specifics on where the candidates are from, Morgan said they are a mix of in-state and out-of-state candidates.

“We have a significant number of candidates from out of state,” Morgan said.

The college will provide biographical information once the four finalists are selected.

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