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Pima College narrows chancellor search to 2 candidates

The search for a new leader for Pima Community College is down to two candidates, both current presidents of community colleges, the leaders of a search committee told the PCC Governing Board on Thursday.

A replacement for longtime college head Roy Flores will be picked after the finalists are interviewed by the Board and questioned at public forums, college spokesman C.J. Karamargin said.

Up for the post are Dr. Maria C. Sheehan, president of Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, and Terrence J. Burgess, Ph.D., president of San Diego City College.

The pair were chosen from 39 applicants vetted by a 31-member Search Advisory Committee appointed last September.

A third finalist, Kathie Winograd, president of Central New Mexico Community College, was tapped by the committee but withdrew from consideration to remain in Albuquerque.

Sheehan has served as president of Truckee Meadows Community College since 2008. Prior to that, she was the superintendent/president of Desert Community College District in Palm Desert, California, and from 1995-2001, she was president of Modesto Junior College in Modesto, Calif.

She has also served as the vice chancellor of human resources for the California Community Colleges, a system composed of 72 districts and 107 community colleges. She started her career as a primary school teacher in South Pasadena, Calif.

Sheehan was awarded the 2006 Presidential Leadership Award by the Network of California Community College Foundations (NCCCF), bestowed annually on one California community college president or chancellor.

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Burgess has served as the president of San Diego City College since 2001. He served as the president of Chabot College in Hayward, Calif., from 1998-2001, and as vice president of instruction with Irvine Valley College in Irvine, Calif., from 1986 to 1997, including one year of service as interim president.

Burgess is a lecturer in the College of Education of San Diego State University, where he teaches courses in the educational doctorate program and serves on student dissertation committees.

He began his career in higher education in the 1970s as a professor of biology in various community colleges, California State University and the University of California. 

Pima's chancellor search committee included Governing Board members Brenda B. Even and David Longoria, who announced the finalists at a board meeting Thursday night.

"The committee did an outstanding job. We are so thrilled with the caliber of the candidates," Even said.

Flores, in the post since 2003, stepped down amid controversy last year. Pima's former provost, Suzanne Miles, is serving as interim chancellor during the search.

The college is targeting February-March for having picked a new chancellor, and Pima should have a new head on the job by July, Karamargin said last year.

For more info, see www.pima.edu/chancellorsearch.

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1 comment on this story

Jan 24, 2013, 9:20 pm
-0 +3

This process has taken an inexcusably long time. However, as a former PCC employee myself, I am relieved that the two finalists are both from outside the college. If PCC ever hopes to eliminate the rampant and blatant corruption that plagues it, the last thing it needs is someone else from the old guard.

I just hope both these finalists understand what exactly it is they’ve signed up for, and the daunting task that lies ahead of them. I wish the new Chancellor the best of luck…he/she is going to need it.

By the end of the year, we’ll know if the new Chancellor is serious about cleaning up PCC. If there are a bunch of firings (to those who deserve to be fired), then we’ll know the new Chancellor is serious. If PCC maintains their no-accountability, no-fire policy, then we’ll know it will be business as usual.

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Sheehan and Burgess

Dr. Maria C. Sheehan

  • President, Truckee Meadows Community College
  • Reno, Nevada


  • Ed.D., Higher Education Administration, Pepperdine University
  • Master of Science, Counseling, California State University, Long Beach,
  • Master of Arts, Special Education, California State University, Los Angeles
  • Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, California State University, Los Angeles

Terrence J. Burgess, Ph.D.

  • President, San Diego City College,
  • San Diego, California


  • Ph.D., Applied Management and Decision Science with a specialization in Higher Education Administration, Walden University, Minneapolis
  • Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts, Biological Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles and California State University, Fullerton