PCC's Miles finalist for top job at Ore. school

2013-03-17T00:00:00Z PCC's Miles finalist for top job at Ore. schoolCarol Ann Alaimo Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 17, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The woman who has led Pima Community College during a year of administrative turmoil is a finalist for a top college job in Oregon.

Suzanne Miles, PCC's interim chancellor since the departure of troubled former leader Roy Flores, is one of three contenders for the president's job at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham, Ore., about 15 miles from downtown Portland.

The Mount Hood board named Miles as a finalist on Thursday - one day before PCC received a report from its accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, that cited "discrepancies between the Interim Chancellor's letter to the Commission and facts learned during interviews with the Board members and PCC employees."

For example, Miles' letter to the commission defending PCC said Flores retired for health reasons. But several people told the commission's fact-finding team, which visited Tucson in January, that "the timetable for the Chancellor's retirement was greatly altered due to the allegations pending against him." Flores resigned under a cloud of sexual harassment allegations from several female employees.

Also, the report says Miles' letter "focused more on the messengers than the message itself. Those making the claims are discussed more than the claims themselves."

Miles has worked at PCC for 26 years and was Flores' second-in-command during his nine years as chancellor.

He pushed for her to be appointed as his permanent successor. But PCC's Governing Board declined to give her the top job after protests by citizens groups and some current and former college employees.

After a failed first attempt, PCC is conducting a national search for a new chancellor.

Miles is to be in Oregon on April 5 and 6 for candidate forums and a final round of interviews with the Mount Hood board.

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