Florida Keys Community College's presidential search committee named three finalists for the top job on Wednesday, leaving the rest of the work up to the Board of Trustees, which will announce a new leader on April 30.
An 11-member committee, comprising college and community representatives, narrowed candidates down from an original pool of 43 applicants to nine semi-finalists, who were interviewed last week via the WebEx online video conferencing system.
From those nine, the short list delivered Wednesday includes:
• George Bishop, vice president for Academic Affairs and Learning Support at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Fla.
• Jonathan Gueverra, chief executive officer at the Community College of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C.
• Allen Witt, president of the South Shore Campus, Hillsborough Community College in Ruskin, Fla., where in 2007 he started as dean of academic affairs.
"I am incredibly pleased with the outcome of the search," said Antoinette Martin, a Board of Trustees member who chaired the search committee. "The committee members demonstrated a great deal of commitment to conducting a thorough and fair search for our next president."
The three finalists will arrive in Key West later this month to meet the public at a question-and-answer forum set for 9 a.m. April 27 in the lobby of the Tennessee Williams Theatre on the Stock Island campus.
The board will conduct formal interviews over that weekend, and then announce the new president at its monthly board meeting on April 30.
FKCC chose not to hire a consultant to lead the search, instead relying on the search committee, a national advertising campaign, and the school's director of human resources, Charles McGinnis.
The search committee included Nick Wright, Mike Cruz, Aurora Stevens, Gwen Oglesby, Doug Pryor, John Majewicz, Pat Miller, David Ritz and Rick Ramsay.
The college's sixth president, due to start work July 1 and earn a salary and benefits package of up to $180,000, will succeed Larry Tyree, who retires at the end of June.
Tyree, a Pensacola native whose education administration career includes 11 presidencies and nine colleges, initially took the helm on an interim status in November 2009, but later agreed to stay on to help usher the college through its accreditation reaffirmation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Tyree arrived as the college was still reeling from tumultuous times after President Jill Landesberg-Boyle resigned under threat of firing, amid criticism that she applied a gruff management style during her two years at the top.
Boyle said that she was cleaning up a "dysfunctional organization."
Her exit divided the college community, as many in the Florida Keys credited her with making progress, such as the on-campus housing that opened last fall.
Last year, Tyree cut his salary by $90,000 to stave off further staff salary decreases amid a budget crisis. Other staff members followed suit, giving up a percentage of their pay in order to ensure a balanced budget.