© 2021 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

A Miami Dade College Leader Applies, Again, For President's Job. Here Are The Candidates So Far.

Pedro Portal
Miami Herald
Lenore Rodicio, left, has applied a second time to replace former president Eduardo Padron, right, in the top job at Miami Dade College. They are seen here during a college event last year.

At least fourteen people have applied to be Miami Dade College’s next president so far during a revamped search process, including the school’s current chief academic officer, who is the only candidate held over from the original pool of finalists.

Lenore Rodicio, the college’s executive vice president and provost, applied for the top job a second time. She and three others interviewed for the position in July. But with a new majority appointed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, the board of trustees decided to scrap the original search and start again. The other candidates were dismissed, while Rodicio was kept in the running.

Rodicio has the support of former college president Eduardo Padrón and is seen as a candidate who would continue his legacy of overseeing massive growth at the school for nearly a quarter century. The interim president, Rolando Montoya, has also expressed support for Rodicio.

The original search, which cost nearly $170,000, yielded more than 500 inquiries and about 50 formal applications. It’s not clear how many people have inquired during the second search. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis but will be given "best consideration" by March 25.

The strongest applicants for college and university presidential searches in Florida often wait until the last minute to apply, since the process is open under the state’s broad public records laws.

The criteria changed when the search was restarted, with the board of trustees casting a wider net in hopes of attracting non-traditional candidates. For example, while the initial job description required a doctorate degree and significant experience in higher education administration, the new presidential profile states that a terminal degree is preferred.

Faculty members have criticized the changes, claiming that the board of trustees might be manipulating the search to advance specific candidates, like politicians.

Several of the applicants so far are higher education administrators, including the chancellor of the University of New Mexico Gallup; the provost of New Mexico State University Carlsbad; and the former vice president of academic affairs at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College in Mount Gay, W. Va. Others include leaders in medical and military institutions.

The presidential search committee is set to meet next on March 26 to begin narrowing down the applicant pool.

Review all of the applicants’ materials here.

South Florida’s leading nonprofit, most trusted source of news and information. Support our mission by giving monthly as a sustaining member of Friends of WLRN or make a one-time donation of your choice. Thank you. Click here to give.