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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Residents weigh in on search for new college president

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  • Although the audience was small, their characteristic choices for a new president at Pratt Community College will help fill a big pair of shoes following the retirement of PCC President William Wojciechowski.
    Part of the presidential selection process includes the PCC Board of Trustees getting public feedback for traits and characteristics for the new president.
    Conducting the public information forum Tuesday afternoon were PCC Trustees Michele Hamm, Mike Koler, Jeff Shumway, Darrell Shumway, Chair Ken Van Blaricum and Donny Hunter, president and CEO of National Search and Educational Consulting who will do the actual recruiting of candidates.
    Hamm said the Trustees had met with the PCC faculty and staff earlier in the day to get their input on presidential characteristics and traits. But they also wanted feedback from the public to help establish the desirable traits and characteristics.
    About a half dozen community members attended the meeting and shared their character choices for a new president.
    Skyline Superintendent Mike Sanders said the new president should maintain a strong relationship with high school students and be able to strengthen the relationship with students in PCCs service area.
    A president should also be forward thinking to keep the college ahead of market needs. They must be a person with strong leadership skills and be student oriented.
    "That's a pretty important characteristic," Sanders said.
    Promoting the college drama and musical presentations to help build family support for the college were traits Bruce Pinkall wanted to see.
    Kyle Jackson said the college has expanded its programs and he wants the president to do more to reach out to the community so they can take advantage of those programs.
    He also wants the next president to carefully consider changes and make sure they are the right direction for the college.
    Jackson said he would like the president to be regionally based and someone who understands the issues facing the college.
    Serving the needs of rural Kansas is a trait Jack Galle said he wants to see. A president also needs to be a player among other community colleges to remain competitive
    Karen Pinkall said she and her husband were new to the area but she hopes the new president will reach out to outlying communities.
    Trustee Darrell Shumway said the faculty and staff concerns were different from the community concerns and that all would be considered in making the profile for the new president. He also said many of those traits were already on the presidential profile.
    He also said this was a new experience for the trustees and they had learned a lot.
    "We haven't had to do this (choose a president) very many times," Shumway said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Hunter said he was pleased with the comments from the faculty, staff and the community. The meetings provided valuable feedback to help determine the type of president the college should seek. The responses were very positive from all groups.
    "I've had no negative comments all day," Hunter said.

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