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Search for new Bucks County Community College president winding down


Following the abrupt departure of Felicia Ganther as President of Bucks County Community College, officials at the Newtown Township-based institution say it is in the final throes of a national search for its sixth president. Ganther was elected in 2021, and her contract would not have expired until July 2024.

At the Feb. 8 meeting of BCCC’s board of trustees, Chairman Thomas J. Jennings briefly articulated that the search remains active and ongoing. Three contenders had been interviewed with the committee planning to continue interviewing more from a national pool of 75 candidates.

After the meeting, a BCCC website update stated the search committee will also schedule open forums for the final candidates to meet in person with faculty and staff during the weeks of Feb. 26 and March 4, providing an opportunity for input from all the college’s constituencies, with a Zoom option provided.

The entire board of trustees will also have the opportunity to interview the candidates during onsite visits. Once feedback from the open forums, interviews and elsewhere has been considered, the board plans to make its final selection.

For some time now, questions concerning BCCC’s committee processes and its focus on the diversity of past and current search committees have largely remained unanswered.

The Herald approached BCCC management requesting a free and clear explanation of its search processes for such an important hire, and to address — in its own voice — BCCC’s standing position on diversity and inclusivity.

In a statement to the Herald, Jennings addressed the 2024 search committee process.

“The current situation is quite unique,” he said. “Previous searches, specifically in 2020-21 and 2010-11, occurred when the college had a sitting president. In this case, Dr. Ganther announced her resignation in mid-October and her departure occurred two months later at the conclusion of the fall semester.”

As a result of Ganther’s mid-year departure, the BCCC Board of Trustees formed a smaller, focused, strategic search committee with the goal of finding the best candidate, who would be ready to serve as of July 1, 2024 — the beginning of the college’s academic and fiscal years.

Jennings continued, “The final selection is ultimately, and by law, up to the entire board of trustees. However, to be clear, the entire board was not part of the previous search committees, just as it is not with the current committee.”

Addressing the lack of diversity on the presidential search committee (appointed by the board of trustees), Jennings responded, “As a community college, inclusivity is a key component of our goal to provide accessible, affordable, high-quality educational opportunities for our students and robust engagement among students, faculty, staff, and the community at large.”

He said the 2024 committee includes four women and three men, with two members who identify with the LGBTQ+ community.

“Each committee member represents a large segment of the community,” Jennings said,

Without directly addressing the lack any of people of color on this and former search committees, the chairman stated, “The county commissioners who appoint the board of trustees have made a focused effort to increase diversity among the board over the past four years. The search committee members were selected, in part, because the time commitment to this endeavor is extraordinary. As I noted, time is of the essence here.”

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