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SMC Begins Search for New President

By Lookout Staff

April 21 The Santa Monica College Board this week voted to hire a national nonprofit search firm to help find a new college president.

The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), which beat out two other finalists Monday, will receive a fee of between $20,000 and $25,000, plus expenses, college officials said.

The search for a replacement for Dr. Piedad F. Robertson, who retired earlier this year to head a national education foundation, is expected to take the rest of the year, with a new president selected around the beginning of 2006, college officials said.

The ACCT consulting team will work closely with an SMC search committee, which has yet to be established, to develop a president profile and recruitment materials, said college spokesman Bruce Smith.

The firm will then identify prospective candidates throughout the nation, produce detailed background reports on the top candidates and conduct extensive reference checks, Smith said.

In its more than 30 years as an executive recruiter for community colleges, ACCT has completed nearly 300 searches for chancellors and presidents throughout the country, college officials said.

Recent ACCT recruitment efforts have included presidents for such institutions as De Anza and Skyline colleges in Northern California, the Dallas Community College District and Kingsborough Community College in New York.

Since Robertson retired Jan. 31 to take the chief executive position at the Denver-based Education Commission of the States, Thomas J. Donner has served as interim president, a post he is expected to hold until the board chooses a permanent replacement, college officials said.

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