Miami New Times by Theo Karantsalis
July 17, 2020
After an arduous 18-month search for a new president, Miami Dade College has set a deadline of November 17 to select a future leader.
But the largest community college in the country is accepting résumés up until a decision is made, something experts say could keep the public in the dark about the process.
“This could lead to getting a candidate at the last minute that you know nothing about,” says Judith Wilde, a professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. “You get a drum roll, and at the end, here is your new president.”
The application guidelines published by Miami Dade College say that “for best consideration, application materials should be received by October 23, 2020.” But right above that, the college states that the search committee “is reviewing applications and will continue until the position is filled.”
According to Wilde, that means someone could apply as late as November 17 and still get the job. She says the application deadline could be a way of getting around the Florida Sunshine Law, a series of provisions that guarantee the public’s right to know and allows citizens to scrutinize government goings-on.
The new Miami Dade College president will replace Rolando Montoya, who has been serving as interim president since Eduardo J. Padrón retired in August 2019. A public-records request by New Times seeking the current list of applicants is under review by the college’s attorneys.
Five days after the October 23 priority deadline, the applicant pool will be shaved to ten semifinalists, leading to early-November interviews, according to the college.