Luna trustees to interview president hopefuls this week

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By David Giuliani

The Luna Community College Board of Trustees plans to interview five finalists for president this week.

So far, no interview has been scheduled with state Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas, who submitted his application late in the process.

The finalists’ names were released Oct. 19. Under state law, the college was required to wait at least 21 days before making a decision. As it turns out, the interviews Thursday will take place after the 21 days have lapsed.

Trustee Jerry Maestas said Luna was sending out the materials for each candidate by Federal Express to the trustees.

“I don’t really know what anyone’s qualifications are yet,” he said, adding that he hadn’t received the materials when he was interviewed by the Optic last week.

Trustee Don Shaw said that from what he’s seen so far, some of the candidates seem “very impressive.” He said he sees no reason to reopen the search.

Asked about Campos’ role in the process, Shaw said, “I don’t know that there is a Pete Campos factor at this time.”

Ambrose Castellano, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said he hopes the trustees can settle on a candidate by consensus.

The school has scheduled interviews with the five candidates for Thursday. They are Dan Chacon, vice president of student support with San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based Cuesta College; James Alarid, a professor and director of a leadership institute at Highlands University; Hans Kuss, former president of Maysville Community and Technical College in Kentucky and who was fired as Luna’s student services counselor last month; E. Clayton Alred, vice president of instruction at Odessa College in Odessa, Texas; and Sharon Caballero, a former Highlands University president.

The finalists were recommended by a search committee. Each candidate went through an interview and a public forum, although Campos, who turned in a late application, didn’t have to undergo that process.