TAMPA — Four top Hillsborough Community College administrators are among the 37 people who have applied to replace retiring HCC president Gwendolyn W. Stephenson.
HCC's internal applicants are:
• Bob Chunn, Dale Mabry campus president.
• Felix Haynes, Plant City campus president.
• Carlos Soto, Brandon campus president.
• Robert Wolf, senior vice president for operations.
Another applicant is B. Kaye Walter, a Valencia Community College administrator who is one of the four finalists to lead St. Petersburg College.
The field includes eight current or former presidents of community colleges, a variety of other high-ranking college administrators, a handful of corporate executives, a former assistant county administrator in Marion County and a former fundraiser for the Lutheran Homes Society.
HCC set a target date of March 1 for applications, but will continue accepting applications until shortly before its selection committee meets on March 18. Trustees expect to select a new president in April.
Stephenson, 66, is scheduled to retire in June. During nearly 13 years as HCC president, she is credited with improving the college's finances, facilities, morale and scholarships for students.
The college has more than 45,000 students, an annual budget of about $185 million and campuses in Tampa, Ybor City, Brandon, Plant City and the SouthShore area of Ruskin. It also has a center at MacDill Air Force Base, a work force training facility, two environmental centers and a 420-bed student apartment complex on its Dale Mabry campus.
All but three of the applicants have doctoral degrees. The college's minimum requirements for the job say that a doctorate from a regionally accredited college or university is "highly preferred." Trustees did not require a doctorate so they could consider, for example, a worthy candidate in the private sector.
"You would hate to eliminate them right from the get-go," college spokeswoman Ashley Carl said. But she said trustees have signaled they highly value candidates who made the educational commitment to earn a doctorate.
HCC's job requirements also call for at least eight years of senior leadership experience in a "complex environment," preferably a community college.
The college's profile for the job does not include a salary range. Stephenson's salary and benefits total about $333,000 a year.
Richard Danielson can be reached at Danielson@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3403.