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Search to find new Sauk president underway

DIXON – The search for the new president of Sauk Valley Community College is underway.

The upcoming school year will be George Mihel’s 10th in that role, and he plans to retire next July.

The Sauk Board of Trustees appointed a committee to search for the next president. The committee, made up of community members, trustees and staff members, will draw up a list of qualifications and screen applicants.

“The role of the committee is to find the next leader for Sauk,” said Scott Stoller, chairman of the search committee.

Stoller said the committee will advertise the position in various higher education publications and online.

“What we will do is take the number of resumes we receive and get that down to a manageable number for the board,” said Stoller, who could not say what that number will be. “When it gets down to the final applicants, the board will make a decision from there.”

Once the committee narrows down the candidates, the trustees will interview the finalists, who will get a campus tour. There will also be a public forum, during which members of the community will be able to interact with the finalists.

There are no immediate plans to use a search firm.

“If we find the need through the search to broaden our candidate pool, we will do so,” Stoller said. 

The committee has come up with a list of things they want in a new president, including good listening and public relations skills. The committee also wants someone who is a community college advocate and can make changes, when necessary.

Stoller, who is also vice chairman of the Board of Trustees, could not put a timeline on the search process.

“It’s hard to put a timeline on the search process when you don’t have a pool of candidates yet,” Stoller said.

The committee hopes a new president can be in place well before Mihel retires, in order to help the new president transition into the new position.

Earlier this week, Mihel said he hopes a new president can be found sooner rather than later, as many presidents also recently retired, meaning many schools will be seeking the best-qualified candidate.

Stoller said the search for Mihel’s replacement is starting 3 or 4 months early, in order to allow plenty of time to find a replacement.

“We want to make sure there are no stones left unturned,” he said.

No matter what happens, Stoller said the committee is excited for the next chapter at Sauk.

“Mihel has been the president for 10 years, and that is a long time for a community college president,” Stoller said. “We have to start writing the next chapter.”

Meet the search committee

Listed below are the members of the presidential search committee, who will find a replacement for George Mihel, retiring president of Sauk Valley Community College.

• Scott Stoller, vice chair

• Alan Pfeifer, academic vice president

• Jim Burke, Dixon mayor

• Ronald Coplan, foundation representative

• Noel Berkey, faculty association president

• Debi Hill, faculty member 

• John Thompson, Dixon Chamber

• Jerry Binder, Sterling schools

• Debra Dillow, support staff representative

• Paula Meyer, board member

• Steve Nunez, dean of institutional research and planning

• Janet Lynch, dean of health professions

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