June 7, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Smile You're on Candidate Camera!

This week Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees interviewed three candidates for the interim president position. Charles Carlsen accepted voluntary retirement after I wrote a story in The Campus Ledger detailing my 13-month investigation that he allegedly sexually and unlawfully harassed an employee in 2003 and again began to create a hostile environment for the employee in March.

J. Larry Durrence, 66, retired president of Polk Community College, Lakeland, Fla. Durrence also twice served as Lakeland's mayor. Durrence said despite retiring in as PCC president in February, he wants to get back to work. He doesn't see himself as an agent of change but rather serving at the board's leisure. Despite trustee, Lynn Mitchelson, questioning Durrence's willingness to work with the student newspaper, he's not the man for the job.

William B. Eddy, 72, Former dean of the Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Eddy also serves on the Kansas City School Board, which selected a new superintendent. Eddy said his participation on that board remains his first priority. Eddy has two established ties with the college through his mentor and one of the founders of the college, Ben Craig, the other from current trustee, Jon Stewart, who encouraged Eddy to consider the position. Clearly, these ties eliminate him from consideration.

Larry W. Tyree, 61, retired president of Santa Fe Community College, Gulf Coast Community College also served as interim president of Jefferson County College replacing a previous interim president. He worked under Florida's "Sunshine Laws" and with the media as it coved campus serial murders, alleged sexual molestations, and embezzlement. This is the guy we need.