Campos may get chance

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By David Giuliani

Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas, may yet become a finalist for Luna Community College’s presidency.

Luna’s interim president, Sigfredo Maestas, said Wednesday that the Board of Trustees needs to consider five finalists for the top job.

The college had five top candidates, but one of them, E. Clayton Allred, vice president of instruction at Odessa College, recently dropped out of the running.

Speculation has been rampant at Luna for months that Campos, who is also the Las Vegas City Schools superintendent, has an inside track to get the position. Campos turned in his application after a search committee chose six semifinalists, so he hasn’t been a part of the official search process. Each semifinalist had to speak during public forums, taking questions from the public.

Allred, the second semifinalist to withdraw, didn’t give a reason in his letter for dropping out. Marjorie Villani, former interim president at Pueblo College, pulled out more than a month ago; she is now working for a college in South Texas.

The other remaining candidates are Sharon Caballero, former Highlands University president; Hans Kuss, former president of Maysville Community College in Kentucky; Dan Chacon, vice president of student support with San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based Cuesta College; and James Alarid, a professor and director of a leadership academy at Highlands.

Maestas said it’s up to him to point out to the Board of Trustees that four finalists isn’t enough under state law. He said he is making no recommendations for a fifth finalist.

Twenty people originally applied for the position, so that’s a pool from which to choose a fifth finalist. Because there was no application deadline, Campos and several others have applied since.

Campos hasn’t returned repeated Optic calls about his interest in the Luna position.

The trustees plan to hold their monthly meeting on Dec. 11, which is when Maestas expects they will choose a fifth finalist.

He said he’s not sure if the trustees can name a new president at the same meeting in which they pick a fifth finalist.

“My best guess is they can’t, but I want to see an attorney’s interpretation,” he said.

Maestas said his agreement is to serve as interim president until the school gets a new president. He expects that will likely happen by January.