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Women added to PHCC search panel

Trustees at Pasco-Hernando Community College have substituted three women for previously nominated men to help balance the search committee for the college's next president.

Men had outnumbered women 18 to 6 on the proposed committee. That raised the ire of trustee Rose Fernandez.

"The committee to find a president is one of the first steps for us to show the public who we are," Fernandez said at the board of trustees meeting this week. "Sixty percent of our student population is women, and we overlook this in out first step out."

The 24 slots on the committee are divided into six four-person categories, and the board is selecting committee members in four of the categories: former trustees, PHCC Foundation members, various other PHCC personnel, and people active in the community.

In those categories, the board had selected 11 men and five women. In the two categories the board is not involved in, there are seven men and one woman. Those categories are senior faculty, which are selected by the faculty, and student leaders, which is composed of student government and Phi Theta Kappa presidents.

At the meeting Tuesday, the board members were agreeable to Fernandez's concerns and targeted the four categories.

In the foundation category, trustees decided to ask Brant Blessing to become an alternate and to replace him with Sherry Kinnunen.

In the community category, trustees decided to ask Circuit Judge Craig Villanti and Land O'Lakes banker Fred Myer to become alternates, replaced by Barbara Rulison and Sandra Ward.

That makes the proposed committee's breakdown 15 to 9 in favor of men, but that could change further, depending on the outcome of student government and Phi Theta Kappa elections at the East Campus in Dade City.

East Campus elections, unlike others, are held in the fall due to higher enrollment, and East Campus student leaders often are females and/or minorities, Provost Michael Rom told the board.

Board members decided at their May 11 meeting to institute a national search to replace Milton Jones, the only president PHCC has had in its 21-year history. Jones will retire June 30, 1994.

Several board members suggested that longtime vice president Robert Judson is qualified for the job. However, they decided that if he is chosen, it should be be because he rose above other candidates in a national search.

The search committee will evaluate the candidates' applications. Jones hopes to have the committee finalized in time for three meetings, in September, October and November. At that third meeting, the committee would decide upon about 10 candidates to submit to the Board of Trustees.