Pima Community College may soon turn to Google and Facebook when vetting executive job seekers after a hopeful with a questionable past ended up on a short list for an interim campus president’s job.
Carlisle B. Rathburn, who recently was interviewed to lead PCC’s Downtown Campus, is out of the running after college leaders learned belatedly of his ethics problems at a previous employer.
Rathburn was one of two candidates who attended interviews in Tucson on Nov. 13, sessions that were set up before PCC was aware of his past, said Mark Ziska, the college’s interim human resources boss.
“We don’t Google or Facebook candidates, and we probably should in the future,” Ziska said in an interview Thursday.
While PCC bosses didn’t use Google for information about Rathburn, some faculty members did and brought their findings to Ziska’s attention.
Online records show Rathburn ran afoul of Georgia’s inspector general in 2007 when an investigation found he abused his position as president of Savannah Technical College.
Rathburn wrongly asked the head of the school’s auto program to buy parts for Rathburn’s personal vehicle, then “failed to reimburse him in a timely manner,” the inspector general’s report said.
Rathburn also arranged discount catering for a college board member through the school’s culinary arts program and “inappropriately used state monies to cover the initial cost” of the catered event, the report said.
Ziska said Rathburn was recommended to PCC by a national executive recruiting organization.
The only other candidate interviewed was Gwendolyn G. Joseph, a retired vice president of the Kentucky Community & Technical College System.
Ziska said he expects to announce the new interim campus president in the next day or two.
Asked if it would be Joseph since she’s the only remaining hopeful, Ziska wouldn’t comment.
PCC recently fired the president and a vice president of Downtown Campus after an investigation of complaints about harassment and administrative turmoil.