LowT Gimenez's Miami where eduction "a politically tainted search process that scared a top candidate away."

Miami Herald:

‘Common sense prevailed.’ Miami Dade College won’t lower requirements for president


Gimenez Politics hurt Miami Dade college: "the perception of a politically tainted search process that scared a top candidate away."

The people tasked with finding the next president of Miami Dade College have repeatedly insisted that Florida’s Sunshine Law, which requires names of candidates to be publicly disclosed, has kept quality candidates from applying for the public position.

But in at least one case, it was the perception of a politically tainted search process that scared a top candidate away.

Cerritos College President Jose Fierro, one of about six candidates seriously considered for the job, withdrew his application by May 15 because the politics and publicity of the search “made him very nervous,” the headhunting firm contracted by the college told the presidential search committee Thursday afternoon.

The college’s faculty union raised alarms about a rigged process in favor of a specific candidatewhen newly appointed trustees wanted to drop minimum requirements last week. The college’s board of trustees held a special meeting Thursday morning, days before the June 2 application deadline, and ultimately voted 4-3 against a proposal to allow candidates with master’s degrees to apply.


“The articles in the press have not escaped the candidates,” said Diversified Search’s managing director in Miami, John Mestepey. “It has created some consternation and concern in their minds, and we have been busily quieting the waters and encouraging them to stay in the process. We think they will.”

Fierro wrote in an email to the Miami Herald that he was solicited by a recruiter for the job.

“I am happy to serve at Cerritos College and I made this clear to the recruiter who solicited me for the Miami Dade presidency,” he said. “While I am flattered to be considered for the position, it is strictly a reflection of the great work we do at Cerritos College.”

New trustees Michael Bileca and Anay Abraham proposed earlier Thursday to undo requirements set by a prior board of trustees, before Gov. Ron. DeSantis appointed four new trustees to a board of seven. Bileca and Abraham are among those four.
They said doing away with must-have requirements like a doctoral degree, or a “terminal” degree equivalent, and six years of academic administration experience would create a more diverse applicant pool. New trustee Marcell Felipe, also a DeSantis appointee, supported that motion. He was met with jeers from the crowd.

“Really, we’re limiting to a Ph.D, doctorate or lawyer,” Bileca said. “It’s creating an opportunity for people to apply who might not fit this narrow thing. The more I think it’s better because it’s creating a diversified candidate set.”

Continue READING: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/education/article230983188.html
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