SARANAC LAKE - North Country Community College officials are close to making a decision on a new president, but they didn't choose one Tuesday.
After the college's Board of Trustees met in executive session for close to an hour-and-a-half, Trustee Tom Michael, who heads up the Presidential Search Committee, said a decision will be announced soon.
"The board has received the candidates from the search committee and reviewed all of the candidates," he said. "They greatly appreciate the work of the search committee, as well as all of the college community members. We received a list of four very good candidates, and we have requested some additional information, and we're continuing deliberations.
"We hope to have a decision in the very near future," Michael added.
The college has interviewed W. David Pelham, Mark Kosinski, Martyn Clay and Steve Tyrell to replace Carol Brown, who will retire at the end of the spring semester to spend more time with family. Each candidate went through a two-day interview which included open forums with faculty, staff, students and community members. They toured the college's main campus in Saranac Lake as well as its satellite campuses in Malone and Ticonderoga.
Michael said all four candidates sport strong resumes. He said the college's reputation was a major factor in attracting high-caliber prospects. In 2010, Washington Monthly ranked NCCC number 22 in the U.S. out of approximately 600 community colleges, and number one in New York state.
"Our reputation is well known in the education circles throughout the country," Michael said. "That is a reflection of our faculty and staff. And because of that we received very talented candidates. It was a pleasure to be in a search that had a wealth of candidates all with different strengths and skill sets."
Michael said the college expects to come in under its $50,000 budget for the presidential search.
Franklin County Legislator Tim Burpoe told the Enterprise recently that he likes the transparency of the search.
"We have student representatives, faculty, administration staff involved - it's been really interesting," the Democrat from Saranac Lake said. "I've learned more about the college as a result of this. Anybody that has to make a decision about these colleges should have an immersion like this."
The final selection must be approved by the State University of New York Board of Trustees.