Glendale College Near Decision on New President

Times Staff Writer

The search for a new president of Glendale Community College has been narrowed to six finalists, and a selection probably will be made within two weeks, board President Robert Holmes said this week.

The six contenders, including acting President and Supt. John A. Davitt, are being interviewed on campus this week. They were chosen from a list of 70 applicants.

The college has been without a president since August, when Dr. H. Rex Craig died of lymphatic cancer. Craig was named president and college district superintendent in 1982, after the college broke away from the Glendale Unified School District.


Besides Davitt, finalists are:

Phillip R. Ray, president of Dundalk Community College in Baltimore.

James L. Heinselman, president of Los Angeles Harbor College.

Robert C. Messina Jr., vice president of Broome Community College in Binghamton, N.Y.

Raymond J. Needham, president of Guilford Technical Institute in Jamestown, N.C.

Lyle R. Robertson, provost of Macomb County Community College in Warren, Mich.

Davitt was appointed acting president in June and is the college’s vice president of instructional services.

“The candidates will be interviewed this week, and we are going to travel to campus facilities and let students and faculty members meet them,” Holmes said Monday.

That bit of good news, announced at last week’s board meeting, came after the board was presented with a major blow to its expansion plans.

An anticipated drop in state aid to the college has eliminated funds for a proposed $4-million building to ease classroom crowding, Jean Larson, business manager for the district, told the board.

‘A Sad Thing’

Construction of the building, proposed in 1983, was to have begun this year between the auditorium and the administration building, where tennis courts are now.

“This is a sad thing. The whole school has been pinning its hope on that building for three years,” said Jean Lecuyer, president of the faculty senate.

The district has already spent $74,000 on planning for the building, and the state has spent $93,000, Larson said.

“We’ve completed through the drawing of plans; we’ve invested quite a bit of money,” Larson said.

Money for the project will not be available because college construction funds come from the state Capital Outlay Fund for Higher Education, which derives part of its revenue from the Tideland Oil Fund, Larson said.

The tideland fund is derived from oil company leases on state tidelands and has been depleted in the wake of plunging oil prices.

“The whole board is terribly disappointed at this turn of events,” Holmes said. “We turn away a significant number of students from popular courses because of overcrowding.”

About 10,700 students are enrolled at the college, and the campus has become so crowded that trailers and temporary classrooms have been set up to handle the overflow.

The college will search for other sources to pay for the expansion, Larson said.

In other business, the board was presented with a preliminary $20.8-million budget for 1986-87, an increase of about $1.5 million from last year’s.

Priorities in the budget draft submitted by Larson’s staff include hiring more instructors and staff, and adding computers for the library.

The board is scheduled to adopt a final budget in August.