Local News

Applicants line up for SFSC presidency

AVON PARK - The process to narrow the list of candidates for the presidency of South Florida State College began Monday with the human resources department's initial review of the applications. SFSC Human Resources Director Susan Hale said 47 have applied for the position, with several from Florida including: Lakeland, Winter Haven and Palm Beach Gardens. There are no internal applicants nor applicants from Highlands County. "We will be reviewing them to make sure they meet the minimum qualifications and then release them to the screening committee next Tuesday for further review," Hale said.
After about a week of reviewing the applications, the 24-member committee will meet Feb. 26 to narrow the field, she said. Jeff Hockaday, who has been hired by the college's board of trustees as a consultant in the presidential search, is scheduled to attend the Feb. 26 meeting. Hockaday told Highlands Today on Wednesday that he expected about 35 to 40 applicants due to the attractiveness of the college, its size and the fine condition that it is in. The screening committee will try to narrow the field to 10 to 12 "semifinalists," he said. Then the committee will do more work, including viewing the candidates' videos to narrow it to four to six "finalist" to be interviewed on campus for the position. The college's board of trustees will then select the person they want to hire, Hockaday said. SFSC President Norm Stephens announced in October that he will retire, after 11 years with the college, on June 30, 2013. The college is hoping to have Stephens' successor on board by July 1, The four minimum qualifications specified by the board of trustees are: At least five years of successful senior leadership experience as a vice president, vice chancellor, provost, president or chancellor in a regionally accredited college, university or higher education system. Successful teaching experience at an accredited college or university. Full-time experience in a public community college or system.

mvalero@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5827