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Palomar seeking diversity through consulting firm for next president

Palomar officials have been talking about increasing diversity on campus and now there is the chance to make that happen with the top job.

To achieve this goal, the Palomar College Governing Board members said they want to hire a consulting firm that can bring in a diverse pool of applicants to choose from to fill the college president’s seat. Many faculty and staff will be taking part of an early retirement package, which means a lot of key positions on campus will be open by the end of the semester.

The board is in the process of hiring a consultant that would bring in qualified applicants for the 26-member committee of faculty, staff and students to choose from in replacing President Robert Deegan, who was the first to announce his retirement.

During a March 10 Governing Board meeting, Michelle Barton, institutional research and planning director, presented potential consulting firms and asked the board to clearly define what qualities they are looking for in a firm.

Board Vice President Mark Evilsizer said during the meeting he wants to ask all the firms to clearly demonstrate the experience they have in recruiting diverse candidates.

The board agreed they need to know how each firm plans to recruit a diverse group of applicants and how they each define diversity.

“If we don’t have a diverse pool, we won’t have a diverse selection,” Board Trustee Nancy Chadwick said during the meeting.

Another component the board wants to see in a consulting firm is how they will bring in applicants with experience in finance and budgeting.

“The whole financing of the system in community colleges in California is like none other in the United States,” Chadwick said. If the candidates don’t understand how budget and financing works in California then they will really struggle in this position, she added.

Chadwick also emphasized wanting to know who the primary players will be from the consulting firm. She said a lot of firms will promise a certain group of people to do all the work and then not deliver them.

Lastly, Chadwick said she wants each firm to state exactly how much they will charge for their services.

The board narrowed their top choices down to ELS, PPL, CCSS and Ralph Anderson. Interviews are scheduled for March 24.

The Board approved in open session that they want to hire a consulting firm that:

– Has experience recruiting diverse candidates

– Has experience hiring in California

– Sources candidates with experience in budgeting as well as interacting with negotiations and labor unions

– Knows and understands Palomar, to ensure it will fulfill the needs of the college

– Has a strong vetting process for the first round of applicants



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