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Finalists chosen but not named for Three Rivers president position

By Claire Bessette

Publication: theday.com

Published April 29. 2014 6:30PM   Updated April 29. 2014 11:55PM

Norwich — The state Board of Regents for Higher Education announced Tuesday it has selected finalists in the search for a new president for Three Rivers Community College and two other state community colleges.

The finalist candidates have not yet been named but will be named and biographical information will be posted "a day or two" before each candidate makes a visit to the campus for interviews, a press release posted on the board's website said. Visits are expected to be scheduled within the next two weeks, said Elizabeth Caswell, chief of staff for the Board of Regents for Higher Education.

Appointments are expected to be made in early summer.

Three Rivers' President Grace Jones announced her plan to retire a year ago, but she agreed to remain in the position until a successor is found. She expects to formally retire June 30. The presidents of Asnuntuck and Quinebaug Valley community colleges also recently retired. Those colleges are being led by interim presidents this year.

The search committee conducted a nationwide, months-long search guided by the national search firm RPA Inc. Executive Search Consulting of Williamsport, Pa.

Applications were received from 269 candidates. The searches were supported by two committees — the Regents Search Committee and an advisory committee with representatives of faculty, staff, students, alumni and members from the business community at each of the three colleges.

"On behalf of the Board of Regents, I want to thank the advisory committees for their tireless work in considering many worthy applications, conducting interviews, and making sound recommendations," Board of Regents President Gregory Gray said in the press release. "The input of the advisory committees throughout this process has been outstanding."

Finalists will tour the college campuses, meet the community, and be interviewed by Gray and members of the Regents Search Committee.

RPA's contract with the state calls for it to be paid $62,500 for each search, or one-third of the first year salary for the successful candidate, whichever is greater. RPA also agreed to reduce the total fee owed by the state by $6,000 once the total price is known.

In December, RPA conducted interviews and held focus group sessions at Three Rivers prior to launching the search, Jones said.

c.bessette@theday.com

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