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4 finalists picked for College of Southern Nevada president

Updated May 1, 2018 - 8:28 pm

Four college administrators with diverse backgrounds and from different parts of the country have been named finalists to become president of the College of Southern Nevada.

The candidates will visit with the campus community in separate public meetings and will take part in face-to-face interviews with the presidential search committee next week.

By next Friday, it’s likely that the Nevada Board of Regents will make a decision on whom to hire to lead the state’s largest community college.

“These four finalists represent the best applicants from across the entire country,” Thom Reilly, chancellor for the Nevada System of Higher Education, said in a statement. “We are excited to have such a highly qualified and diverse pool of final candidates as we narrow our search for a leader to take CSN to the next level.”

The finalists are:

■ Keith Curry, the president/chief executive officer for Compton College and the Compton Community College District in California.

■ Feleccia R. Moore-Davis, the provost of Tallahassee Community College in Florida.

■ Utpal K. Goswami, the president of Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods in Kansas City, Missouri.

■ Federico Zaragoza, the vice chancellor of economic and workforce development at the Alamo Community College District in San Antonio, Texas.

The CSN post is one of three presidential transitions taking place within the NSHE.

The system is nearing the end of a search for a new college administrator to lead Western Nevada College in Carson City, and it is beginning the search for a replacement for UNLV President Len Jessup, who’s preparing to leave for a new job.

During an open forum at UNLV on Monday, Reilly said candidate pools differ for each school.

“At Western Nevada College … there was a great sense that they liked the direction that was set by the former president,” Reilly said. “At CSN we got a different message. We got the message that they want a change agent, that they’re looking for someone who’s more of a risk taker and more aggressive in dealing with different issues.”

CSN’s previous president, Michael Richards, served in the role for almost 10 years. Margo Martin, who joined the college as vice president for academic affairs in June, has been acting president since Richards retired in January.

“CSN is saying that we haven’t reached our full potential, and here are concrete ideas on how to move the needle,” Reilly said during Monday’s forum.

Diversity has been crucial in the search.

Regent Patrick Carter, a member of the search committee, said he’s pleased with the applicant pool.

“Having people that have had past administrative experience in education will be a great asset for CSN,” he said.

Several advisory members of the presidential search committee have said diversity is necessary to ensure faculty and students feel valued.

The NSHE hired Wheless Partners to head the CSN search, which began in February.

Contact Natalie Bruzda at nbruzda@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3897. Follow @NatalieBruzda on Twitter.

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