By Shane Madden
The Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees is set to meet Monday, Nov. 21, with the purpose of “deliberation and selection” of GRCC’s next President.
In the eight months since former President Bill Pink announced his intention to leave the college to become the President of Ferris State University, GRCC has taken several steps to ensure the selection of a qualified candidate.
In May the board appointed Juan Olivarez to serve as interim president through Dec. 31 while the board undertook the process of selecting a replacement.
In early June the board approved the use of an external search firm, Gold Hill Associates, to seek out and collect a pool of talented candidates. The Collegiate acquired the contractual details through a Freedom of Information Act request, revealing that the search would cost GRCC roughly $67,500, including a consultant flat-fee as well as additional expenses for candidate travel, advertising and promotion.
Those candidates were sorted into categories based on their qualifications, with the top group of 30 moving on to the next stage.
Board Chairperson David Koetje described the process of narrowing down the pool of candidates in an October board meeting.
“We have three finalists for our next president…” Koetje said “So from 30 candidates down to three, our selection committee, an incredibly diverse group of 28 community college leaders undertook a very intense selection process that went from 30 down to seven semi-finalists. They were brought in for 90-minute interviews. These three candidates separated themselves from the others.”
In the weeks following the interviews, Stuart Blacklaw dropped out of consideration for the job, and could not be reached for comment.
GRCC board members are expected to vote to appoint a new president at Monday’s meeting, at 4 p.m. in the board conference room on the 5th floor of the RJF building.