Outrage at Edison
Edison interviews six presidential candidates
Board chair: We have to rebuild trust
EDISON STATE COLLEGE IS GETTING CLOSER TO HIRING A NEW PRESIDENT ... AFTER INTERVIEWING THE FIRST SIX OF NINE FINALISTS. Video by fox4now.comvideo
FORT MYERS - Six down and three to go.
Edison State College is getting closer to hiring a new president after interviewing the first six of nine finalists in an eight hour marathon.
Like the other candidates, finalist Jean Wihbey is offering praise for the system she wants to lead.
"Edison State College is on the cutting edge of so many wonderful positive things for its community," said Wihbey, "and its students here."
But it's the negatives at Edison that led the board of trustees to fire their old president Ken Walker over illegal course swapping, accreditation problems, and cover ups.
"One of the biggest problems Edison has," former board member Pamella Seay told Fox 4 last month, "and unfortunately may continue to suffer through is a lack of transparency."
"I think everything you saw today was very transparent," said board chair Ann Berlam, who heads the search committee.
Berlam says all of the finalists interviewed so far are aware of Edison's problems.
"I think they all said we've got to communicate," said Berlam. "We have to work with the public, we have to rebuild the trust and I think we heard that clearly and very loudly."
The search committee is limiting the length of the interviews to just one hour with each candidate. We asked if that's enough time given what's at stake.
"I think an hour, with our questions, and we ask everybody the same questions and they all have the same amount of time," said Berlam, "that that was sufficient for the committee at this point for the purpose that we have."
As for the candidates, the time constraint seems to be taken in stride.
"Do you think an hour was enough time to make the case?," asked Grant.
"No definitely not," said Wihbey after her interview with a laugh. "Not for someone like me."
The search committee will interview the final three candidates tomorrow. They will then immediately begin narrowing the list down to no more than five.
The final 3-5 candidates will be presented to the board of trustees next week and will be brought back for more extensive interviews.