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Seven sitting presidents among 9 finalists vying to be next president of Edison State College in Florida


Consultant John Hicks of Academic Search, Inc.

Seven sitting presidents, a retired president and a vice president will interview next week for the top post at Edison State College.

A search committee on Tuesday selected nine semifinalists, which hail from seven states in four time zones, from a pool of 40 applicants.

“We have very diverse backgrounds as far as where they’ve been and the kinds of institutions, and I think it will be really great to meet them,” said search consultant John Hicks.

Each semifinalist will head to Fort Myers on Monday or Tuesday for hourlong interviews with the committee, which is developing a series of questions about candidates’ vision, management style, experience in innovation, fundraising history and other topics.

The committee then will forward names of three to five people to the board of trustees, which will bring the finalists back to town a second time for more thorough interviews.

The fact that eight of the nine semifinalists have been CEOs at colleges was no coincidence. Committee chairwoman Ann Berlam, who also serves as trustee chair, said experience making tough decisions, overseeing academics and managing a budget are vital qualifications for a president to take office and hit the ground running.

“There wouldn’t be a total learning curve,” Berlam said
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