Community will be called on to help with Highline College’s presidential search


As many as eight members of the South King County community will be asked to serve on a subcommittee to help in the search to replace Dr. Jack Bermingham, who retired earlier this year as Highline College president.

During a special public meeting held Monday on campus, the college’s Board of Trustees approved the overall makeup of the group.

In addition to community members, the subcommittee will include college staff and faculty and at least one student. Up to 18 people are expected to serve on the subcommittee. Once the names of the subcommittee members have been made final, the list will be voted on by the five-member board during a public meeting.

Board members also voted to move forward in contract negotiations with Gold Hill Associates, a national search firm specializing in community college executive searches. Gold Hill was one of five firms to respond to the board’s request for quote, issued at the end of Sept. The board is expected to take final action on a contract with the firm at a future meeting.

The next special board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 1 p.m. in the Mt. Skokomish Room of Building 8 (Highline Student Union) on the college’s main campus. Once the meeting’s topics have been set, a notice will be available on the board’s Meeting Agendas page.

The timeline for the presidential search process has not been determined. Board members have said their goal is to have a new leader in place no later than July 1, 2018.

Dr. Jeff Wagnitz is serving as interim president. After a permanent replacement for Bermingham is found, Wagnitz will return full time to his previous role as a vice president.

Highline’s board is responsible for selecting and employing the college president. It is composed of community members from Highline’s service area of South King County: Dan Altmayer and Bob Roegner, both of Federal Way; Debrena Jackson Gandy, Des Moines; Fred Mendoza, Normandy Park; and Sili Savusa, White Center.


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