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Blinn Board of Trustees inches toward appointment of new interim head

Blinn Board of Trustees inches toward appointment of new interim head

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BRENHAM -- The Blinn College Board of Trustees held a special meeting in Brenham on Tuesday to iron out contract details for incoming Interim President Ana Margarita Guzman before she assumes her new role at the end of this month.

After the closed-door session, board president Douglas Borchardt said trustees gave Guzman their input on what they would like to see accomplished during her short time with the school while the search for a full-time president continues. Although Borchardt said he could not go into contract details or specific goals discussed until negotiations are complete, he did say the board is looking forward to the leadership qualities she will bring to the position.

"It makes the board's job a lot easier to have someone who has been in a presidential role," Borchardt said. "Even though it is only for a short period, they can also provide some very strong consulting advice that they can prepare for the permanent president."

According to Borchardt, Guzman will have the same responsibilities as a full-time president, but could hold off on making long-term decisions for the college that the next president might disagree with.

Borchardt said the junior college selected Guzman for the position with the help of the Association of Community College Trustees, the same Washington, D.C.-based executive search firm hired by the school Dec. 3 to find a full-time president. Blinn spokesperson Jeff Tilley said the board will ramp up search efforts in early February by working closely with ACCT, students and faculty to pinpoint desired traits in a president. The school with then create a website dedicated to the search to enhance transparency.

ACCT will be paid at least $35,000 to conduct their nationwide search that is expected to take at least six months. Borchardt said Guzman will not be a candidate for the full-time appointment.

Guzman, who served as president of Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico from 2012-2014 before arriving at Blinn, will replace President Dr. Harold Nolte, who will retire Jan. 31. Nolte became the school's 14th president in 2011 and announced his plans for retirement in September after three years with the school.

Tilley said Guzman will not be available for comment until after her contract is finalized.

Borchardt said the search will carry on smoothly with Guzman at the helm.

"There's a lot of excitement about going to that next level and continuing to nurture the best interests of our students and to have someone of the caliber of Dr. Guzman," he said.

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