Dawn Lindsay Appointed President

Isiah Reyes

Glendale College’s newest president, Dawn Lindsay, has taken hold of the reigns during an economic crisis with hopes of restoring a collegial atmosphere that many found lacking before she came on board as interim president in July of last year.

Lindsay was offered the permanent position by the board of trustees at the March 15 board meeting.

A search committee made up of community members and representatives of college constituencies was created to screen the applicants; a hired consultant was also involved in the process.

“I think it was a very thorough process,” Lindsay said. “It certainly kept all the applicants on their toes.”

The final three candidates took part in a selection process that included public forums, input from faculty and staff through an online survey and a final interview by the board of trustees.
Coincidentally, during the process, Lindsay was named the “Woman of the Year” by the Glendale Chamber of Commerce.

“I’m really complimented,” Lindsay said. “I’ve certainly been very active in the community, but so have a lot of other people on campus. We’ve got administrators and faculty and staff as well as our board out there just really letting the community know that we’re here for them.”

She will be given her award at a luncheon held at the Hilton Hotel on Thursday at noon.
Lindsay said that the campus has been going through a lot in the past few weeks, from the hiring of the president, the decision-making process of the president and then the accreditation.

The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meet acceptable levels of quality.
Without accreditation by a nationally recognized accrediting organization, a school is not eligible to participate in government student assistance programs. This means that students would not be eligible for federal grants or loan money.

In terms of the accreditation report, Lindsay said, “The college did very well. We are going to have some recommendations, but nothing that we can’t address fairly quickly. It was a very positive report. It speaks volumes to the governance process on campus.”

One of the biggest issues that colleges face that leads to problems is governance and leadership, to which Lindsay said, “Thanks to the guild president, senate president and the board of trustees and the approach of this administration, we had absolutely no recommendations [in governance and leadership], which is a huge testimony to the campus.”

Every three months, Lindsay plans on visiting Washington D.C. with one board member for a few days to lobby for funds in response to the budget crisis. A visit to the U.S. Capitol was scheduled in February, but was cancelled due to a snow storm.

“I think the biggest problem [that GCC] is going to be meeting is the financial issues that are hitting the campus,” Lindsay said. “We anticipate that next year will be tougher than this year.”

Constituent groups gave the district back money so that they could preserve and maintain more classes for students.
Lindsay said, “There is so much passion on this campus. We’ve got an amazingly dedicated faculty who really care about the community . and who really care about academics. We’ve got classified staff and support structures that are second to none.”
Lindsay spoke about her approach to being president, and how it may differ from that of her predecessor, Audre Levy.

“I listen, I respect differences and I’m open to looking at any issue from all angles,” Lindsay said. “[I have] the ability to take a tough issue and put it on the table, and have it totally analyzed. We have the opportunity to fully look at the decision before we make it, to make sure that we’re making the best decision possible for this campus.”

As dedicated to the job as she sounds, Lindsay still likes to have some free time.
“I think it’s really critical that since we spend so much time at work . that we should do fun things,” Lindsay said. “I’d like to see us do more social things, because when you’ve got really positive relationships with people, the college becomes even more powerful.”

Lindsay said she would like to make last fall’s student government barbecue an annual event to promote social gatherings between students and faculty.

As far as free time for herself, Lindsay said she would be heading to Nashville during spring break to celebrate her son’s 21st birthday.

Lindsay has served in the interim position since July 2009. When she took the position, it vacated the position for vice president of instruction. If Lindsay did not become president, she would have been vice president of instruction again.

Currently, there is advertisement for the vice president of administrative affairs position, which is currently held as an interim position by Ron Nakasone.

The election of these permanent positions will be held through a search process.
The vice president of instruction will undergo a first-level interview, followed by an open candidate forum and then a final-level interview. In contrast, the vice president of administrative affairs would have first- and second-level interviews but without the open forum.

Lindsay came to GCC as vice president of instructional services in 2007 and was named executive vice president two years later.? Her previous position was dean of instruction at Riverside Community College Norco.?

She began at the Norco campus as the dean of student services in 2002 and then assumed the duties of dean of academic and student affairs. She was promoted to dean of instruction in 2004.?

Her educational background includes a doctorate in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University.? She also holds a master’s in educational counseling and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Western Maryland College.

Lindsey can be reached at (818) 240-1000 ext. 5108 or in AD 106.