Home GRCC Board of Trustees GRCC picks presidential search firm, seeks community input for candidate

GRCC picks presidential search firm, seeks community input for candidate

Board Chairperson David Koetje.

After Grand Rapids Community College’s decision to hire Gold Hill Associates, an executive search firm to find the best candidate to fill the vacant GRCC president job, the Board of Trustees is turning to the community for feedback.

While there is an interim president in place, Juan Olivarez, who is returning to the role that he occupied from 1999 to 2008, the school is still diligent in finding a long-term replacement for outgoing president Bill Pink. In Olivarez’ contract, which was acquired by The Collegiate through a Freedom of Information Act request, it states that he will receive $253,750 for his seven-month term, which will expire on December 31, 2022. 

Olivarez’ contract includes a base salary of $215,000, with an additional amount of $6,000 in lieu of a separate auto allowance, $15,000 in lieu of a separate housing allowance, as well as $17,500 in lieu of a separate annuity and other benefits.

Also included in the FOIA request was the contract with Gold Hill Associates.

The search for the new president will cost GRCC approximately $67,500 to execute with the search firm. Included in said costs is a consultant flat-fee of $51,000 with various other additional expenses such as travel, advertising, promotion and other miscellaneous costs totalling at anywhere from $10,500 to $16,500.

In an email sent out to members of GRCC staff, Board Chairperson David Koetje was adamant about the need for feedback from those involved with the school.

The board will seek out opinions and insight from the campus community via two focus group sessions.

As the Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees continues to move forward with the search for the eleventh president, your feedback is important,” Koetje stated. “The session will be held to seek your insights regarding important considerations in hiring the next President.  We will use the attached Presidential Search Profile to help frame our conversations.”

The sessions are set to take place on Monday, June 27 from 10 – 11 a.m. and Tuesday, June 28 from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. in the Board Library on the fifth floor of Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall. The sessions will be offered as both in-person and virtual.  They will be hosted by the GRCC Board of Trustees and led by Preston Pulliams from Gold Hill Associates.

​​GRCC’s Vice President for Finance and Administration Lisa Freiburger is confident that the input of the campus community will benefit the search process.

“One of the most important things our board can do is select a president,” Freibruger said. “They will work through all of that, and as a public community college I am confident that our search will be appropriately public. Our college campus community will want to weigh in on that process.”

Interested parties can RSVP to Misty McClure at mmcclure@grcc.edu by Wednesday, June 22. If you are unable to attend, please share your feedback at presidentialsearch@grcc.edu.

For more information on the presidential search process, click here.


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