ELAC learns about president selection process

New president to be selected by July

PHOTO by Ivan Cazares, Photo illustration by Steven Adamo

By Ivan Cazares

By July 2020, East Los Angeles College will have a new president or one will be close to being chosen by a selection committee that’s yet to be established. Francisco C. Rodriguez, Los Angeles Community College District chancellor, hosted a town hall meeting on Monday to inform the ELAC community on the selection process. 

There were few students present at the meeting.

Now, ELAC administrators have three weeks to probe the community if they choose to do so. Once the selection committee is established, all decisions will fall to it, Rodriguez and the LACCD Board of Trustees, with no further community input. 

The committee will be established by December and consist of two faculty members appointed by the academic senate, two appointed by the American Federation of Teachers Faculty Guild, two appointed by the AFT College Staff Guild, one appointed by non-AFT classified employees and a student representative appointed by the Associated Student Union.

The committee will also include two academic administrators, two community representatives and at least one administrator from a department not already represented on the committee. 

 Rodriguez said selecting the unrepresented administrator is his responsibility.

He said he decides on one or more depending if there is a lack of representation on the committee, whether that be a lack of representation of gender or of a particular discipline. 

Rodriguez said he expects up to 70 candidates lining up to fill the position, which is among the highest paying college president positions in the state. 

“There’s a competitive salary attached, but notice how I mentioned that last. I might be biased, but I believe smart people like to solve complex things. LACCD is a complex thing. I can speak from experience,” he said.

“We’ve made improvements, but to this day you can still extrapolate completion based on ethnicity, race, income and zip code, which I’d argue is tied to income. That has to change. There’s no better district to help make that change than LACCD and no better jewel in the district than East LA.” 

Rodriguez said one of the new president’s biggest challenges will be helping with the transition to Guided Pathways education models

Guided Pathways are education models which aim to streamline students’ college experience by reducing the number of remedial classes required. California is among the last states to adopt Guided Pathways. 

“Sometimes a president will only talk to his team, and it doesn’t trickle down. Some of us on other levels don’t get the messages.” Wendy Macias, general counselor, said.

“What I’d like to see is a president that communicates and nurtures a culture of collaboration, so we can focus on the most important thing, which is our students.” 

Macias and other counselors said they want a president who’s open to discussing offering services like food vouchers for students in need. 

The position of ELAC president will be made as enticing as possible by its administration and LACCD. Which will attract candidates from across the country, some of which won’t have any familiarity with ELAC.

Rodriguez said the pool of candidates will likely consist of college presidents, vice presidents, college district administrators and some private sector administrators.  

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