LUMBERTON —The board of trustees for Robeson Community College has cut its list of candidates to replace President Charles Chrestman to 12.
The list was reduced at a meeting on Tuesday from 24 candidates, according to George Regan, chairman of the board. Initially there were 37 applicants for the job, but 13 were weeded out earlier because they did not have one or both of the qualifications on the job profile — a doctorate from an accredited institution, and a minimum of five years of senior-level community college leadership.
According to Regan, the applications received for the president’s position came from all parts of the country, and as from far away as British Columbia, Canada.
“We have a good mixture, a very good selection pool,” Regan said. “At least seven of the applicants that I know of have been finalists for other lead community college positions in North Carolina and other states.”
Regan said the semifinalists will now be asked to submit responses to questions compiled by search consultant Dr. Donny Hunter, president and CEO of the N.C. Community College Trustees Association, for the trustees to view on a DVD.
Regan said that the board will meet again on Dec. 15 to reduce the candidate pool another six based on the DVD interviews. The six semifinalists will then be asked to come before the board of trustees for an in-person interview.
Regan said that it is hoped all of the interviews can be done by early January and the names of the finalist and two alternates submitted to Scott Ralls, president of the North Carolina Community College System, for presentation to the state community college board at its mid-January meeting.
“The law is that we can submit up to five names to the state board,” Regan said. “The decision on who is selected for president is made by the college trustees. All the state board does is grant final approval to our decision.”
Regan said the trustees hope to have a new president in place by February. Chrestman has said he will stay on as president until February, Regan told The Robesonian on Wednesday.
Chrestman announced his retirement at the July 9 board of trustees meeting. His retirement was initially to go into effect on the last day of this year, one day short of his 10-year anniversary with the college.
“Dr. Chrestman has done a super job as our president,” Regan said. “That’s not just the opinion of those at the school. That’s the opinion of the community … . We are hopeful we can find someone to do just as good of a job, but that’s going to be difficult.”