In the wake of Palomar’s first failed attempt at hiring a president, the new search, with its dangerous struggle for brevity, has all the makings of a disaster.
Firstly, the college plans to have a permanent president chosen by June — giving them a two-month window — and then have them completely integrated and working by August. This is a foolishly optimistic goal, especially because the search intends to aim at a national pool of sitting college presidents.
It is irrational to expect a candidate, who could potentially be living out of state, to respect a search with such a condensed time frame. If the search committee intends on getting the most qualified pool of applicants, it needs to understand that filtering the undesired candidates from its search will be an arduous process.
This is not the only flaw in Palomar’s presidential search.
On April 5, the rules that dictate the composition of the search committee were unanimously changed by Palomar’s Governing Board; which has lead to major concerns in the committee’s validity.
Nancy Chadwick, an active Board Trustee, will head the 19-member search committee. And because the Board already has final control over who is chosen, Chadwick will acquire an unjustifiable amount of influence over the process.
We feel this is undermining the legitimacy of the search, in a copious attempt to speed up the selection process, by allowing an active member admittance onto the committee.
The search is set up in a bureaucratic format intentionally — where the search committee chooses the finalists and the Board picks the actual president. And to change this format is not only giving the Board twice the influence, it is a clear indication that the Board has no interest in giving other departments on campus an equal say.
Palomar’s new search is simply undemocratic and we urge those with authoritative influence to demand a change.