Pima Community College is holding a series of candidate forums this week to help fill four key executive positions.

The provost’s job and three campus presidencies are up for grabs, with a total of 13 candidates vying for the four posts.

Most of the hopefuls have never held jobs at such a senior level before, but Mark Ziska, the college’s interim human resources chief, calls the candidate pool “exceptional.”

“I’ve talked to each of them and they are very good candidates,” he said.

And they’re under no illusion about the type of problems that may greet them if they’re hired, he said. PCC is on probation with its accreditor and its workforce has widespread morale problems.

“They do have their eyes wide open,” Ziska said of the contenders, most of whom were identified in a national search earlier this year.

The applicants were interviewed by a search committee before making it onto the candidate list, he said.

PCC publicly announced the forums Monday, a few hours after they began.

The campus president sessions — at Community Campus, Northwest Campus and Downtown Campus — continue today and throughout the week at some of the campuses.

Interviews for the provost position will take place Friday at college headquarters.

Go to www.pima.edu and click on the “what’s happening” link at the bottom of the homepage for a schedule and list of candidates.

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