PCC board selects Lambert as new chancellor

Compensation package totals more than $340,000
2013-05-17T00:00:00Z 2013-05-17T16:08:01Z PCC board selects Lambert as new chancellorCarol Ann Alaimo Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 17, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Pima Community College has its next chancellor.

On a unanimous vote Friday morning, the college's Governing Board selected Lee D. Lambert as the new leaders. He is expected to start July 1.

Lambert, a lawyer with expertise in sexual harassment issues, has served since 2006 as president of a small community college in Washington state.

A three-year contract approved by the board calls for Lambert to receive a total of $344,000 a year. The figure includes a $290,000 annual base salary, a $10,200 annual automobile allowance, a $30,000 a year tax-sheltered annuity allowance and a business expense allowance of $13,800 a year.

Lambert was one of four finalists under consideration and was named last week by PCC board Chairwoman Brenda Even as "the candidate that seemed to rise to the top."

The board hopes to bring Lambert to Tucson for a visit with the college community before he officially starts.

A team of PCC board members and employees spent two days this week in Washington state, meeting with trustees, faculty leaders and others at Shoreline Community College, where Lambert now works.

Team members who made the visit are expected to be present for today's vote and will talk about what they learned.

PCC has been without a permanent leader since last year, when then-Chancellor Roy Flores resigned after being accused by eight women of sexual harassment. He denied the accusations.

Flores and his executive team - most of whom are still at the college - left the school in an administrative shambles, according to PCC's accreditor, which recently placed the school on two years' probation.

The accreditor said PCC's "dysfunctional" board shirked its oversight role and failed to act on warnings about Flores' conduct.

Zelema Harris, the retired chancellor of St. Louis Community College, is serving as interim leader of the school.

As chancellor, Lambert would be responsible for helping to correct pervasive problems that led to probation being imposed.

During a recent visit to Tucson as part of the recruitment process, he described himself as someone who loves a challenge.

Lambert said he's turned around troubled situations at other workplaces and wants to "be part of transforming Pima."

Before becoming president at Shoreline, Lambert served there and at another school as head of human resources and legal affairs, where he oversaw efforts to detect and prevent sexual harassment.

PCC employee groups, local business leaders and others are opposed to a new chancellor being chosen by existing board members, most of whom also hired Flores.

Contact reporter Carol Ann Alaimo at calaimo@azstarnet.com or at 573-4138.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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