Cleveland State Community College has been continuing its search for a new president, and the public will have the chance to meet all the candidates this week.
The pool of applicants to replace current president, Dr. Carl Hite, has been narrowed down to three men.
The trio are set to take part in a busy schedule of events starting Monday and continuing through Thursday to help the search committee pare down its choices even more.
The final three choices are Gene Couch Jr., executive vice president of Alamance Community College in Graham, N.C.; Niles Reddick, vice president for Academic and Student Affairs at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Ga.; and William Seymour, vice president for Institutional Advancement at Jackson State Community College in Jackson.
Hite is set to retire after the current college semester finishes in December.
While Hite is “trying to stay out of” the search process, he said he told the chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents that the new president should “be creative and think outside of the box.”
During his 17-year stint as president, the college has seen a good amount of growth with the introduction of several new programs, Hite said.
He hopes the trend would continue with whomever takes the presidency next.
Dr. Denise King, vice president of academic affairs, encouraged the community to meet the group of men who includes the next Cleveland State president.
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, the public is invited to attend receptions for each of the three candidates.
Seymour’s reception will be Monday, Reddick’s reception will be Tuesday, and Couch’s will be Thursday. All three events will take place in an alcove off the main lobby of the Johnson Cultural Heritage Building at 4:30 p.m.
“Dr. Hite has done an amazing job for the past 17 years, and it is important for the community to come and be a part of choosing the next leader of the college,” King said.
“It is just as important for the next president to start building these relationships before he even begins work.”
When the candidates are not fielding questions from the public over light refreshments, their schedules have them taking part lunches, tours and events for campus faculty, staff and students.
In addition to the receptions, the public will also be able to watch the Presidential Search Advisory Committee’s interviews with each of the candidates as they are streamed online on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.
Interested viewers will be able to tune in at http://www.clevelandstatecc.edu/about/presidential-search.
The search committee, which includes members of the Tennessee Board of Regents, Cleveland State faculty and staff and other local community members, has been working since September to narrow down the choices for the new president.
Once this week’s activities are complete, the committee will recommend its final choice. Morgan will then take the choice to Tennessee Board of Regents for a final vote.
Though he said knowing how the search is set to progress this coming week was “bittersweet,” Hite also encouraged local residents to take part in the receptions and meet the next man to hold his office.
“This is an opportunity for people to ask questions and maybe — in some way — help influence the decision,” he said. “It really is important. Whoever is hired will be the next president of their local community college.”