Presidential candidate forums held in Johnson Center

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Annebelle Nery, one of four finalists who spoke at the presidential forums held in the Johnson Student Center. photo by | Carrie graham

Seven months after the district restarted its search for a permanent president, the final four candidates for Santa Ana College’s next top administrator introduced themselves at an on-campus forum Nov. 15. 

The original search was ended after one of the final two candidates from the previous search chose to take positions at other institutions. SAC’s previous president, Linda Rose, retired at the end of the spring 2020 semester.   

The four finalists are: Marilyn Flores, who has served as SAC Interim President since June 2020; Annebelle Nery, Vice President of Instruction at College of the Desert in Palm Desert; Dr. John Maduko, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Minnesota State Community and Technical College; and Jack Kahn, Vice President of Instruction at Palomar College in San Marcos. 

Each was given an hour to introduce themselves and their backgrounds and answer questions from students and staff about how they would increase enrollment, their experience leading community colleges, and how they plan to create diversity, equity and inclusion. 

“Part of my record is creating centers, rather it’s a safe space or a brave space for those students who need that extra support,” said Nery. 

After each session, those in attendance were asked to complete a paper survey about what they felt each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses were. Those who didn’t attend in person were invited to fill out an online survey that closed the following morning. 

A finalist has not yet been announced, but Rancho Santiago Community College District  Chancellor Marvin Martinez said that he will send his recommendation to the board for approval at the Dec. 13 meeting. The new president starts in January 2022.  

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