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2-year chancellor seeking managers; start in education isn't requirement

POINT CLEAR (AP) — The new chancellor of Alabama's system of two-year colleges said Saturday that a background in education is not a requirement to be a college president.

"We're looking for managers ... people who have the intelligence and the background and the experience. It doesn't matter whether you get it in education," Chancellor Bradley Byrne told a meeting of the Business Council of Alabama. "You, too, could be a two-year college president."

Gov. Bob Riley also spoke at Saturday's meeting and said the two-year system should be reconfigured to better serve the state's industries.

Riley said the two-year college system is "uniquely situated" for the task because of its many campuses spread throughout the state. He added that college programs could be tailored to company-specific and product-specific needs.

Byrne will get a chance right away to search for college presidents. Five colleges in the state's two-year system have presidential vacancies.

Mary Jane Caylor, a Huntsville Democrat, said that people from the private sector leading educational institutions is "a trend whose time has come."

In an Aug. 6 letter, AEA Associate Executive Secretary Joe Reed criticized Byrne's lack of experience in education prior to becoming chancellor, calling Byrne's position a "patronage appointment."

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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