SPC trustee Ken Burke criticizes Kuttler for suggesting successors
A member of the St. Petersburg College board of trustees criticized outgoing president Carl Kuttler this morning for publicly suggesting that St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, among others, should be considered for the college's top job.
Trustee Ken Burke (shown), who also serves as the Pinellas Clerk of the Circuit Court, said Kuttler's comments that Baker and Pinellas superintendent Julie Janssen should apply for the job taint the process.
"We're not helped by Carl's comments in the paper where he named two possible successors," Burke said Tuesday at a special meeting of the trustees. "By naming people, that may hinder some of the good people who should apply for this job from applying."
Trustees are beginning to discuss the process to replace Kuttler, the school's president since 1978. Kuttler announced last month that he would retire.
Burke and trustee Deveron Gibbons, who is running for mayor in St. Petersburg, suggested Tuesday that the college might be best served by appointing an interim president to allow space between Kuttler and his eventual successor.
The board also seemed poised to hire a search firm to conduct a national search for applicants.
"This meeting and the process we design should make it clear to everyone that it will be a fair and open process," said trustee chair Terry Brett.
Aaron Sharockman, Times Staff Writer