Nationwide search for chancellor begins

January 10, 1995|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,Sun Staff Writer

The trustees of Baltimore County's three community colleges have initiated a national search for a chancellor after unanimously adopting the outline of a major plan to reorganize a 38-year-old system of independent campuses.

Board member Timothy M. Kotroco, an attorney with the county Zoning Commission, has been appointed as committee chairman to select an experienced group to develop a list of qualified candidates from which the 10-member board will select a system head.

"I have charged Mr. Kotroco and his committee to go forward immediately to identify an agent, if you will, to conduct a national search for the most capable person available to head our system," board President Robert J. Kemmery Jr. said yesterday. "We'd love to have someone on board by this September."

In the plan introduced Friday night at a special meeting, board members were encouraged to hire someone with five to 10 years' experience as "a successful CEO of a multicollege system."

The board agreed to the plan presented by William J. Mann, former chancellor of the Metropolitan Community Colleges in Kansas City, Mo., who recommended a consolidation of administrative and support functions and a separate central office with a new administrative staff.

The three colleges in Essex, Catonsville and Dundalk serve more than 70,000 full-and part-time students and have a total operating budget this fiscal year of more than $76 million, Mr. Kemmery said.

Baltimore County is the only jurisdiction in the country with independently administered community colleges, college officials said. A new chancellor, or system president, would serve as executive officer of the board and direct, coordinate and evaluate college operations.

Under the plan, a system vice president would manage accounting, personnel, purchasing, payroll and computer operations, and additional system vice presidents could be hired as the reorganization progresses.

"The person who eventually is hired will develop the details of such a plan with the board," said Debbie Rosen McKerrow, spokeswoman for Essex Community College. She said two national organizations -- the Association of Community College Trustees and Association of Governing Boards -- will be enlisted in the search for a candidate.

In his report, Dr. Mann said the board "operates at a serious disadvantage that of necessity requires involvement in administrative details and distracts from the oversight function typically performed by boards."

"The current three-college president structure deprives the board of a focused reporting and accountability structure," the report said.

"This creates a situation that makes coordination and consolidation tasks that would lead to improved community services and economies of scale almost impossible to accomplish."

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