Edison advisory committee to assist presidential search
A committee of community leaders, faculty will help find Dr. Walker's replacement.Photo: Video by fox4now.com
PUNTA GORDA - Edison State College announced the formation of a volunteer community advisory committee to help pick their next president.
The 13-member committee will work with a national search firm costing taxpayers around $80,000. The team will give input into what they would like to see in the college's next leader.
"How important is it to get this right?," asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.
"There's nothing more important," said Charlotte County attorney Darol Carr.
Carr knows the college in-and-out. As a former student, faculty member and board of trustee he's invested in seeing the scandal plagued college bounce back.
"You hate to see it come under that dark cloud," said Carr. "I believe Edison will rise from above that cloud and be a much better institution."
Carr is now one of 13 people picked to head up the advisory committee comprised of community leaders, faculty, staff and at least one student.
"Dr. Walker served a purpose for a long time," said Carr. "He did a great job for the college. However, obviously, his time has past and it's time to find somebody new."
And that somebody will have a lot to straighten out, including keeping the college's accreditation.
"I believe that person's going to have a great deal of work to do," he said. "And hopefully they will do it correct."
Education professor Joycellen Rollins is also on the committee. Reached by phone she wouldn't say if she gave Walker the vote of no confidence last year.
"There were aspects of Dr. Walker's leadership that really moved this college forward," said Rollins, "that I appreciate very much."
We asked Rollins if there were any qualities she would like to see in the next president that were different from Walker.
"Not that I can think of," she said. "Certainly want to see a strong involved leader, one who's willing to push up their sleeves and get involved."
And with a lot to tackle, Carr says finding someone who can handle the job is crucial.
"It's very important that we get the appropriate individual to address all of those issues," said Carr.
The committee will be run by board chair Ann Berlam and will be comprised of faculty, staff and five community leaders representing Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties.
Their first meeting is Feb. 23.