Archive for the ‘presidential search’ Category

St. Petersburg College will host two community forums to discuss the college’s search for a new president. The public is invited to attend to give input into the attributes and qualifications they wish to see in presidential candidates.

The forums will be held:

  • 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, Tarpon Springs Campus, Room FA 132, 600 Klosterman Rd.
  • 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr. Midtown Center, 1300 22nd S, St. Petersburg.

The forums are intended to inform the work of the Board of Trustees (BOT) as it finalizes the job description for a new president. SPC is seeking applicants for its seventh president after current president Bill Law announced his retirement – effective July 1 – in November. Law previously served as president of Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College and Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Ill., and was the founding president of Montgomery College in suburban Houston.

In December, at a special Board of Trustees meeting, the BOT created a 13-member Presidential Search Committee that includes current and former trustees, community members, students, faculty and staff. Former BOT Chair Terry Brett is chairing the search committee, and the nationwide search is being led by Dr. Jeff Hockaday, the college’s search consultant.

Once the forums are held and feedback is received, the BOT will finalize the job description and advertise the position. Brett, Hockaday and Faculty Governance Organization (FGO) President Dr. Rich Mercadante will review all of the applications before narrowing a list to about 20 candidates for examination by the search committee. In the next phase, committee members will narrow the list to about 10 candidates, who will all be asked to submit an 8-minute video responding to questions posed by the committee.

The committee will review the videos and present the BOT with a list of 4-6 finalists. Each finalist will come to SPC for a two-day visit, in which they will visit with a variety of stakeholders. Committee members will make final recommendations and Trustees will vote on the final selection.

Please visit the college’s presidential search website for updates.

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     William D. Law Jr., president of Tallahassee Community College for the past eight years, was selected today as the new president of St. Petersburg College. He replaces Carl M. Kuttler Jr., SPC’s longtime president who retired at the end of 2009.

      The vote by the college’s five-member Board of Trustees was unanimous. Law was selected from a slate of four finalists, a list that had been culled from an initial field of 25 candidates.

William D. Law Jr.

     “This was a difficult decision, as all four finalists brought interesting credentials and visions to the process, and any one of the four could have led SPC with distinction,” said Terrence E. Brett, the board’s chairman. “William Law possesses the unique set of leadership qualifications and values that we were looking for.” 

       Law noted in his application that he has led three different community colleges. Before assuming the presidency at Tallahassee, he was president of Montgomery College in Texas, an institution he helped found. Before that, he was president of Lincoln Land Community College in Illinois.

       In the 1980s, he was vice president of institutional and program planning at what was then St. Petersburg Junior College.

       “I have been the president of three different community colleges, each one increasingly more complex and sophisticated,” Law said in his application for the SPC presidency. “The opportunity to advance to the ‘top rung’ on the professional ladder at an institution as complex and multi-dimensional as SPC is exciting and enticing.”

      Kuttler announced in mid-2009 that he planned to retire, but he initially declined to set a date for his departure, and indicated that he might remain as president for up to two years to give the college plenty of time to find his replacement.

      As the year neared its end, however, Kuttler said he had decided to leave much earlier than that, finally announcing that his last day on the job would be Dec. 31.

      The Board of Trustees quickly began a search process. It named a 13-member search committee, made up of community leaders as well as members of the college community, to help with the selection process.

      SPC advertised nationally for applicants, and an initial list of 25 candidates was developed.  That list was whittled down several times until a final group of four finalists was selected.

      Besides Law, the finalists included: 

  • Thomas Keegan, President of Peninsula College, Port Angeles, Wash.
  • Paula Marie Gastenveld,  Assistant to the Chancellor for Workforce Development, Academic and Student Affairs, Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Versailles, Ky.
  • B. Kaye Walter, Executive VP/Chief Learning Officer, Valencia Community College, Orlando

       Each of the four finalists made three-day visits to SPC, meeting with students and faculty members and touring the college’s various learning sites.

      The Board of Trustees will now negotiate contract terms with Law.

     Kuttler had led the college as president since 1978. Himself a graduate of St. Petersburg Junior College, as it was then known, Kuttler joined the college as an administrator in 1965. He was considered by many to be one of Florida’s most creative, innovative and entrepreneurial educators, always eager to create partnerships with government entities, other colleges and universities, and local and national businesses and corporations. Those partnerships contributed substantially to St. Petersburg College’s growth and success.

Kuttler led the college into a new era as a four-year school offering baccalaureate degrees, the first community college in Florida to be given such a privilege.


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Thomas Keegan

     Thomas Keegan, one of four finalists for the position of president of St. Petersburg College, is touring SPC campuses today through Thursday.
     Keegan is president of Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Wash.
   Check the Presidential Search Web site for specific dates, times and locations for each candidate’s campus visit and how you can make your voice heard in the selection process.
     Videos of the Board of Trustees interviews for each candidate will be posted online by April 8.
     The final decision on who will be SPC’s next president will be made at a Board of Trustees public meeting at 4 p.m., Tuesday, April 13 in EpiCenter Room 1-453.

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