Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Hiring VCCS college presidents includes local college board representation throughout the process.

The job begins with a “visioning exercise,” facilitated by the VCCS Human Resources department. A broad range of local stakeholders, including college faculty, staff, students and leaders in the local community, considers and articulates the institution’s major challenges and aspirations for the next five years. The results of that exercise shapes the job description that becomes the foundation of a national search.

A statewide search committee is created to screen and interview candidates. The panel is led by two current VCCS presidents and includes three members of the local VCCS college board, a member of the Chancellor’s Faculty Advisory Committee, and other representatives from across the VCCS, representing all of a college’s functional areas. The search committee’s task is to narrow down a list of finalists for the State Board to certify.

Rappahannock Community College is one of seven VCCS colleges looking for a new president in 2019.

Once a “short list” of candidates is developed, background checks are performed on all before they’re presented to the State Board for certification. As is the case for all formal Board actions, the meeting to certify the candidates is an open session and its results are announced publicly.

Once certified, those finalists, one at a time, will visit the college. Stakeholders from across the college community (college, faculty, staff and community leaders) have the opportunity to meet and interview the job candidates. Those sessions are public, and typically covered by local media.

The local board will advise the VCCS chancellor of its recommended ranking of the finalists. An offer will be made, and often accepted shortly thereafter.

When interim college presidents are appointed, they are not candidates in the search for permanent placement.

All told, the presidential hiring process usually takes six to eight months to complete.

Here’s a link to the VCCS’s official policy on the presidential selection process.'

Craig Butterworth

A native of Richmond, Craig Butterworth is an award-winning broadcast journalist and communications professional. He has worked as a spokesperson, staff writer and editor for a variety of non-profit and for-profit organizations throughout the Richmond area.

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