GLENWOOD SPRINGS - Two of Colorado Mountain College's seven trustees on Thursday took on the initial phase of the search for an interim president for the six-county college system.
The board, minus Trustee Anne Freedman, of Basalt, engaged in a special meeting by telephone conference.
For more than an hour and a half, the trustees debated how best to replace former college President Stan Jensen, who resigned in December after more than four years on the job.
Trustees Pat Chlouber, of Lake County, and Mary Ellen Denomy, of western Garfield County, were directed to come up with a short list of candidates for the interim position, according to a motion by Trustee Ken Brenner, of Routt County.
No timetable was set for the task, although it will be an item at the board's next regular meeting Jan. 22.
The trustees unanimously agreed that candidates for the interim position should not be any of those interested in applying for the permanent job.
Denomy urged that the interim job go to "someone who is more familiar with Colorado Mountain College" than a candidate from outside the system.
She suggested that the board consider Lin Stickler or Alexandra Yajko, both retired college employees who have worked with the CMC Foundation, for the interim job.
She had not talked with either of them and said she probably will approach them with the idea.
And while Chlouber and Denomy look for candidates for the interim job, Debbie Novak, assistant to the president and to the board of trustees, will be working with the college's human resources department to compile a list of potential search agencies and estimates for how much they might charge to conduct a search.
There was no mention at the meeting of the board's controversial decision to pay Jensen a $500,000 severance, which is three times the amount he would have been eligible for under the terms of his employment contract.
Board President Glenn Davis, of Eagle County, opened the meeting with the remark, "Colorado Mountain College is a responsible steward of our funding."
He also said that the decision to accept Jensen's resignation "was in the best interests of Colorado Mountain College students, faculties and the communities that we serve."
Davis' agenda for the meeting called for discussion on whether the board is seeking a new college president who is a visionary, a leader or an administrator, but the terms were not explained, and discussion was postponed.
The board also was scheduled to discuss whether to hire one person to do the job of president or split the position in half, creating a chancellor and a president to run the college. That topic, as well as writing a job description for the new president, received little discussion and was put off until a future meeting.
One thing the board agreed to do, after a suggestion from Trustee Kathy Goudy, was to seek input from others in the college about the matter.
The board agreed that suggestions are welcome from students and faculty members about the selection of both an interim president and a permanent replacement for Jensen.
Davis at one point urged caution about opening up the process too much to anyone outside the board.
"This is probably the most important job the trustees will ever take on," he said.
But all agreed that ideas and suggestions from throughout the college should be funneled through Novak and forwarded to the trustees.