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State board meets May 9 to start chancellor search
Permanent leader sought for 2-year college system

By M.J. Ellington (334) 262-1104

MONTGOMERY — The state Board of Education will hold a called meeting May 9 in Montgomery to begin the search for a permanent two-year college system chancellor.

Board Vice President Sandra Ray, D-Tuscaloosa, said the meeting was planned before last week's contentious board meeting at Calhoun Community College.

At Calhoun, Gov. Bob Riley, who is the board's president, confronted interim Chancellor Renee Culverhouse and vowed to oppose her employment contract.

Ray said the board should have started the search for a permanent chancellor weeks or months ago. Scandals within the two-year system and the abrupt resignation of Thomas Corts, the previous interim chancellor, contributed to the delay.

Ray said the board will establish guidelines and consider job descriptions at the upcoming meeting. The board must decide what type of search to conduct and whether to hire an outside search firm.

"We want to get the broadest possible choice of applicants, but we are kind of starting from scratch at this point," Ray said. "I am sure there will be a variety of opinions, but I would like to have someone who knows something about running two-year colleges," she said.

Board member Randy McKinney, R-Gulf Shores, said the board needs to move forward with the search.

"The question all along has been when are we going to get this process moving," McKinney said. "The process for this meeting was already started before the board meeting at Calhoun."

McKinney said he expects the meeting to focus on parameters of the search and establish requirements for applicants' experience and credentials.

Both Ray and McKinney said they expect the process to take several months.

The 2 p.m. meeting will be at the Alabama Industrial Development Training Institute's conference and training center at 1 Technology Court in Montgomery.

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