Dawn Lindsay Becomes Interim President/Superintendent

Jessica Bourse

The board of trustees announced on May 19 that Dawn Lindsay, current vice president of instruction, will take over as interim superintendent/president of the college on July 1.

The announcement came two weeks after the unexpected resignation of current superintendent/president Audre Levy, which will take effect in late June.

“We have a lot of confidence in [Lindsay],” said Vahe Peroomian, president of the board of trustees.

“She’s someone who unites the campus – everyone respects her. She has a very strong background in all levels of education and people on campus like her, and that’s very important. At this juncture, we needed someone to bring the campus together for us to move ahead.”

Opinions were voiced during the board of trustees meeting on May 18, in regards to who to appoint in Levy’s soon-to-be-empty position.

One of those voices belonged to Teresa Cortey, chair of the foreign language department, who recommended that the board look at Lindsay as a viable candidate for the job.

“She has three qualities a president needs,” said Cortey. “One, she is humble. She actually has humility, which is evident in the speech she gave the first day she was hired as vice president. She said she wanted to help us maintain our academic excellence and she wanted to learn from us and grow with us.. Another tremendously huge quality she has is her willingness to listen.. She is the obvious person for the job.”

In an interview earlier this week, Lindsay reiterated that commitment.

“I look forward to drawing on the expertise of ‘everyone’ as we develop strategies to address this budget crisis. The wonderful thing about being in an academic environment is the vast array of expertise we can draw upon. The opportunity to look at an issue from so many disciplines and aspects will assist us make the best decisions possible. Everyone at this college cares deeply about our students and the institution. It is wonderful place to be as everyone is so dedicated.”

John Queen, president of the Academic Senate, said the council was pleased that someone from the college was chosen. He said that Lindsay has a good reputation among the faculty because of her cooperative and friendly demeanor.

“The fact that she’s vice president of instruction means that she’s interacting with faculty issues all the time,” said Queen.

While the faculty is generally pleased with Lindsay’s appointment, many are opposed to the process in which the board took to hire the future interim president of the school.
“We, the guild, objected to the process whereby she was appointed with no hiring committee,” said Gordon Alexandre, president of the Glendale College Guild. “Our objections were to the process, not the person.”

Alexandre explained that a two-week/ten-day hiring committee has been set up to find an interim replacement for the position Lindsay will be leaving by June 12.

“Well, if you could do it for an interim vice president, why not an interim president?” said Alexandre.

According to Peroomian, the board carefully weighed its options before unanimously voting for Lindsay to her upcoming position.

“We weighed everything together and realized we have either our internal candidates or we have external candidates,who may not know anything about GCC,” said Peroomian. “And putting it all together and recognizing how important it is to address the fiscal situation we have as soon as possible, we thought it was best to appoint her and not wait around for a process which may or may not have someone in place by July 1.”

Queen, who also said he had hoped for a more formal hiring process, said, “Given how fast the board acted, I think the choice was a good one.”

“I’m hopeful,” said Alexandre, “I’m optimistic. I think if anyone can pull things together, it would be Dawn [Lindsay].”