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Luna meeting canceled due to snow

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By David Giuliani

Luna Community College canceled its Board of Trustees meeting set for 5:30 p.m. today because of a snowstorm.

The meeting has been rescheduled for the same time next Tuesday in the Student Services Building on the Luna campus.

Membrs of the Luna Community College Board of Trustees today were expected to choose a fifth finalist in their search for a new president.

However, three trustees, Ambrose Castellano, Jerry Maestas and Abelino Montoya, said Monday that they haven’t been presented a list of the other possible candidates from which to choose.

Speculation has been rampant on campus that the trustees will choose state Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas, as the fifth finalist and that he’ll eventually get the job.

Campos, who is also the Las Vegas City Schools superintendent, applied for the position late. By the time he entered the process, a search committee had already named six semifinalists.

Trustee Jerry Maestas said Monday that he had yet to see the list of the other applicants.

“I don’t know how it’s going to work at the meeting or what the procedure will be,” Maestas said.

Officials said 20 people originally applied for the position. In mid-September, the search committee interviewed six semifinalists — all of whom took questions from the public during forums.

The search committee later whittled the list down to five finalists. Two of the original six have dropped out, and Luna needs to pick another finalist because the state requires five.

The president’s position became vacant after the sudden exit of Leroy “Huero” Sanchez in the fall of 2006. The school’s academic dean, Gilbert Sena, filled in as interim president until the summer when he left after being placed on an undefined leave.

Sigfredo Maestas, former longtime president of Northern New Mexico Community College in Española and former academic dean at Highlands, took the reins as Luna’s interim president in July.

The school has brought back Sanchez as its lobbyist with the state Legislature, and Sena got a $30,000 contract to handle an interim report with an evaluating organization. Sena also received $5,000 to pay for his legal bills in return for his not filing a lawsuit against Luna.

The four current finalists for the presidency 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 institute at Highlands.