Board Selects Hockaday for Presidential Search

The Manatee Community College (MCC) district board of trustees, at its Sept. 19 meeting, took the first step in finding a replacement for President Dr. Sarah H. Pappas, who will retire June 30, 2008, by selecting Dr. Jeff Hockaday of Sanford, N.C., as a consultant to guide the search process.

Hockaday was one of two consultants who made presentations to the board. He outlined a search process, which is expected to take six to seven months, and explained his interaction with trustees, a search committee and MCC staff liaisons.

A primary role of the consultant will be to recruit candidates and guide a successful search process. As the decision-making body, the board will determine minimum qualifications and a profile for the next president that addresses educational credentials, experience and skills.

The composition of the search committee will be determined by the trustees. Hockaday suggests that a 15- to 25-member committee include trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, students and community members. The board plans to approve search committee members at its Oct. 15 meeting.

Although replacing someone of Dr. Pappas' proven capabilities will be difficult, Hockaday said, he is optimistic that candidates of high caliber will be attracted to MCC.

"There is no question in my mind that Florida has the best system of community colleges in the nation. You are leading from a position of strength," said Hockaday.

An experienced search consultant and chancellor emeritus of Pima Community College, Tucson, Ariz., Hockaday has completed more than 75 searches for community college presidents, including eight in Florida. He served 27 years as president and/or chancellor of community colleges in North Carolina, Virginia and Arizona, and was interim president of Hillsborough Community College, Tampa.

Hockaday's consulting fee is $22,000, plus an expense account not to exceed $2,500.


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