Columbia Basin College officials have begun seeking applications for President Rich Cummins’ replacement.
Cummins announced in February that he was leaving to take a position as chancellor for Western Governors University’s Washington branch.
He began working for the college 27 years ago, and taught English and information technology. He started the college’s online program and served in three vice president roles before becoming president in 2008.
The board is accepting applications at columbiabasin.edu/jobs. Deadline is April 25. The college is casting a nationwide net for applicants.
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A committee of faculty, staff, students and community members is reviewing the applications and interviewing candidates.
The trustees seek someone with a history of leadership success at an institution of higher learning, according to the job announcement. They want someone with a track record of innovation leading to results.
Cummins created paths for students and staff to ensure their educational and professional success, and the trustees want to find a candidate who can continue his legacy, officials said.
The board is also looking for someone with a similar entrepreneurial spirit, said Sherry Armijo, the chairwoman of the search committee and trustee. Cummins created programs at the college to fill needs within the community, such as the cybersecurity program and the bachelor of applied science in nursing.
“We need someone that can move things along those lines,” she said. “If you can’t get a job with your degree, it doesn’t do you much good. Students need to have a pathway to employment, as well as a pathway on to additional education.”
If you can’t get a job with your degree, it doesn’t do you much good. Students need to have a pathway to employment, as well as a pathway on to additional education.
Sherry Armijo, trustee and search committee chair
The committee will provide the board with a list of the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses. Board members will pick three or four finalists
The candidates’ biographies will be posted on the college’s website in June. They will travel to the campus in July for interviews with the board and meetings with the public.
People will have a chance to submit their comments about each candidate to the board, Armijo said.
“We look forward to the search process,” said Kedrich Jackson, the board chair.
While the board set an August deadline to finish the search, they may extend it to find the best candidate, Jackson said.
“We need to make sure we have a good leader,” Armijo said.
Former CBC president Lee Thornton will serve as the interim president. He led the college between 1995 and 2008.
Since leaving the position, he worked as an educational consultant and spent a year presiding over Blackfeet Tribal College in Browning, Mont.