The process for hiring the next president of Lee College is advancing with four finalists coming to town next week.
“The stage we are at now is we have invited the four finalists here for the board to take a look at them,” Regent board chairman Mark Hall said Wednesday.
The four candidates are Dr. Stephen W. Dunnivant, Dean of Business, Industry and Technology at Tallahassee Community College; Dr. Johnny Moore, president of Pierpont Community and Technical College in Fairmont, WV; Dr. Scott Scarborough. Professor of Practice – School of Accountancy at the University of Akron and previous University of Akron president; and Dr. Lynda Villanueva, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Affairs at Brazosport College in Lake Jackson.
The four finalists will answer questions at separate public forums next week. There will be two forums for each candidate on consecutive days.
The first forum is for Dr. Villanueva on Monday with Dr. Dunnivant’s scheduled for Tuesday, Dr. Moore’s on Wednesday and Dr. Scarborough’s on Sept. 12. On each day, the forum for faculty,
administrators and staff is from 10 to 11:30 a.m. while the forum for students and the public is from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
All forums are being held in Tucker Hall.
Hall said regents would also have dinner with each candidate.
“That is the process moving forward,” Hall said. “We have four different candidates with different strengths, backgrounds, weaknesses and all kinds of stuff. They all have varied backgrounds.”
One of the candidates, Scarborough, was the subject of numerous articles out of Ohio about his time at Akron. Articles referred to Scarborough’s time as the University of Akron’s president as a “short and tumultuous stint.”
The news articles and TV reports said when Scarborough was hired to lead the university in 2014, he was criticized for trying to rebrand Akron as a “polytechnic institution,” receiving a vote of no-confidence from the faculty senate, and laying off more than 200 employees while the university was spending $950,000 to renovate the presidential home. There were protests from students and enrollment plummeted.
He was also faulted for the dismantling of the Akron baseball team.
Scarborough left the University of Akron in 2016.
Hall said the board knew about the things included in the news reports about Scarborough’s tenure at Akron.
“It was a consensus of the board to make him a candidate to have an interview here,” Hall said. “Everybody is aware of the article, and his response was that he did not have anything to do with (the renovated house). He said the house was a project that started prior to him being hired as a president. And it was a project run by the board, not from the president’s office. He said he didn’t have anything to do with it.”
Scarborough is also the only candidate without community college experience. Akron University, however, is a much larger, four-year institution.
“The profile we put out contained both the desire from the board for the candidates to have community college experience and desire from others to look outside the community college family for a candidate,” Hall said.
Hall added Scarborough has a strong financial and business background. He is head of the School of Accountancy at the University of Akron and has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas in Tyler.
“That was an area of interest some on the board expressed, to look at a candidate such as this,” Hall said.
Scarborough is also from Baytown. The son of Harold Lynn and Ginger Scarborough, He is a Ross S. Sterling graduate, Class of 1981.
Another candidate, Moore, was on the finalist list to be the president of Santa Fe College in Florida. Its president, Dr. Jackson Sasser, who was once Lee College’s president, is retiring in 2020. Moore had also been a finalist for president at Navarro College in Corsicana in January 2018.
Dunnivant was also a finalist for a president’s job at Niagara County Community College in April. However, he was not able to receive enough support, so the college decided to extend its search into 2020. Dunnivant was up against another candidate, but since the college’s 10-member board had two vacancies, a six-person majority could not be reached.
Dr. Lynda Villanueva, Brazosport College provost and vice president for Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, was mentioned as a potential college president in an article about diversity at the president’s level a Chronicle of Higher Education article titled “What Will it Take to Change the Presidency?”
Hall said he looks forward to speaking with each of the candidates.
“We will sit down, look at the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates and see who could best serve the college at this time in its history,” he said.
The college’s current president, Dr. Dennis Brown, is expected to retire Jan. 31.
Hall said the board could decide to have the candidate start earlier.
“Dr. Brown will be available to us throughout his contract period. But we may make a transition before then,” Hall said. “That was planned from the beginning. We did not want to have a gap and wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to take a second look.”
The board is expected to announce its 10th president on Sept. 30 and then make final approval after a 21-day waiting period.
Lee College presidential finalists
• Stephen W. Dunnivant, Ed.D., is Dean of Business, Industry, and Technology at Tallahassee Community College in Tallahassee. He previously served as Associate Dean of Program Development and Executive Director of Millaway Institute for Entrepreneurship at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City. Dr. Dunnivant earned a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of West Florida in Pensacola; a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.; a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Social Science from Florida State University in Tallahassee; and an Associate of Arts in College Studies from Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City.
• Johnny Moore, Ph.D., is President of Pierpont Community & Technical College in Fairmont, West Virginia. He previously served as the Interim Vice President for Student and Outreach Services at Northeast Texas Community College in Mount Pleasant. Dr. Moore earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics Education from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne; a Master of Science in Mathematics from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas; and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Philander Smith College in Little Rock.
• Scott Scarborough, Ph.D., is Professor of Practice – School of Accountancy at the University of Akron and owner of S|CPA Network in Akron. He previously served as President of the University of Akron in Akron. Dr. Scarborough earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Strategic Management from The University of Texas at Arlington in Arlington; a Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Tyler, in Tyler; a Master of Arts in Practical Theology from Ohio Christian University; and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from The University of Texas at Austin, in Austin.
• Lynda Villanueva, Ph.D., is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Affairs at Brazosport College in Lake Jackson. She previously served as Dean of Instruction at Brazosport College in Lake Jackson. Dr. Villanueva earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of Houston in Houston; and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.