Search narrows from 60 to 11

BEEVILLE – About 60 hopefuls have applied for the presidential position at Coastal Bend College.

Carroll Lohse, board chairman, said that this list was initially pared down to 11 and the trustees are hoping to reduce it more as they begin to schedule a second round of interviews in the coming weeks.

“We had a good number of applicants to start with,” he said. “We had women and men apply, people who had served as a president and those who had been vice presents and those who had been deans.”

Those applying came from across the country as well including Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, New Mexico and Oregon. “We had people from quite a few states and not just Texas,” he adds.

This past week, trustees were interviewing the narrowed list of 11 hopefuls either in person or over the internet.

“There are some really good candidates,” Lohse said. 

Their job now is to get this list to a handful and bring them in for a second, longer interview.

“You have to get a feel if they fit for the institution,” he said. 

For Lohse, experience is important, but it is the quality of instilling confidence that ranks just as high.

“We want someone who has had experience in the classroom, whether it be workforce or just the educational side,” he said. “We would like to have someone who had experience all through the system so they can relate to the people who are working underneath them. 

“It has to be someone who can work well with people. Whether it be the people underneath them, the people out in the community, the people we are trying to train employees for or the general public. It needs to be someone who can relate well to others.”

Members of the public also were asked their thoughts on the next president. During a meeting last month, only two persons spoke.

Their concerns included someone, as Lohse said, who could instill trust with the employees and the community.

Trustees didn’t use a search firm in their quest to find a president. Instead, Cory Rush, partner with the law firm Karczewski, Bradshaw and Spalding, is handing the applications as they come to the college.

“Rather than hire a professional search firm — the ones who do it for a living — we decided to try to do it more ourselves,” Lohse said.

They recognized that many of the applicants would not want it released that they are applying for the position, so Rush, who represents the college in legal matters, was selected to ensure confidentiality.

It is that confidentiality that prevents Lohse and college officials from saying just who the applicants are for now.

When the selection is narrowed to a finalist, then the board, he said, would release the name, giving the public 21 days to voice concerns or approval.

He hopes to have this selection by October and then an offer made in November.

He reminds the public that there also would be a delay as the person would have to give notice with his/her current employer.

“We are hopeful we can have someone before the start of the next semester,” he said. “We do not want to rush it, but, on the other hand, the sooner we get a permanent person, the better off we will be.”

 Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5221, or at media@mySouTex.com.