The presidents of two out-of-state schools are officially in the running to become the next chancellor of Pima Community College, and a third has dropped out of the competition.
Maria Sheehan, president of Truckee Meadows Community College near Reno, Nev., was named Thursday as a finalist for PCC's top job, along with Terrence Burgess, president of San Diego City College in California.
The two are expected to arrive in Tucson early next month to meet with members of the public and the college community before a final decision is made.
Details of their visits are still being worked out and may be announced by week's end.
A third contender named as a finalist stepped down shortly before Thursday's announcement by PCC's governing board.
Katharine Winograd, president of Central New Mexico Community College since 2007, decided she preferred to stay there, said Brenda Even, chairwoman of the PCC board.
Winograd's withdrawal was "a slight downer," Even said, although "we still have two outstanding candidates."
Burgess, the contender from San Diego, has been job shopping elsewhere before applying to PCC. He was named last fall as a finalist for the president's job at Bellevue College in Washington State.
He's led the San Diego college since 2001 and before that was president of Chabot College in Hayward, Calif. He's also a lecturer at San Diego State University in the school's educational doctorate program.
Sheehan, the candidate from Nevada, has been president of Truckee Meadows Community College since 2008.
Prior to that she was superintendent/president of Desert Community College District in Palm Desert, Calif., and also spent six years as president of a junior college in that state.
Even said in an interview after the meeting that more than 40 people applied to become PCC's next leader. She wouldn't say how many were considered as semifinalists.
The search process has been guided by a 31-person advisory committee that includes representatives from local school districts, the University of Arizona, business and community groups, and PCC personnel and students.
The new chancellor will replace former Chancellor Roy Flores, who resigned last year under a cloud of sexual harassment allegations raised by eight current and former female employees.
Flores left for health reasons and denied wrongdoing, but the college recently paid a $30,000 settlement to one of his accusers.
The chancellor search is taking place as PCC is under investigation by its accreditor, the Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission, over the handling of sexual harassment allegations and other problems at the school.
Contact reporter Carol Ann Alaimo at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 573-4138.