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Changes at Pima College HR, information offices

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Changes at Pima College HR, information offices

  • Kynn Bartlett/Wikimedia

As Pima Community College reorganizes its administration while crafting a plan to satisfy accreditors, the latest moves at the school see an interim HR head being replaced by two fill-ins, and shifting of job titles in the public affairs and marketing departments.

Mark Ziska, a former local Raytheon executive hired by PCC last fall to serve as a temporary head of human resources, will leave the school as planned at the end of the month. The HR department will then be overseen by Charlotte Fugett, the president of the college's East Campus, and PCC attorney Jeff Silvyn, officials said.

Fugett plans to retire in early 2015, PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert said Thursday. Before that, she will handle day-to-day HR operations, while Silvyn "will oversee employee relations," Lambert said.

A new vice chancellor for the department will "most likely" be in place later this year, he said. Lambert said he will work with college faculty and staff to plan the recruitment for a new East Campus president.

The moves leave the school without a permanent head of human resources, an area that was repeatedly cited by the Higher Learning Commission as the accrediting body put the college on probation.

PCC has until the fall to prepare for a site visit by HLC representatives, who will vote next February whether to revoke the college's accreditation.

At the district's central office, one lengthy title will be replaced by another, as the Interim Executive Vice Chancellor for Institutional Effectiveness — Zelema Harris, who served as an interim chancellor last year — will leave the school July 1. Some of the duties of that office will be taken over by Planning and Institutional Research, headed by Assistant Vice Chancellor Nicola Richmond, Lambert said.

A new position, vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement, will be created to oversee Pima's marketing, enrollment, public information, publications, web systems, grants and work with the PCC Foundation and alumni association, Lambert said.

That position will be posted internally and filled in an acting capacity "in the near future," he said.

College spokesman C.J. Karamargin, who now bears the title of vice chancellor of Public Information and Federal Government Relations, will become the executive director of
Public Information and Media Relations.

Assistant Vice Chancellor Rachelle Howell will head the college's marketing department, Lambert said.

State and local lobbying efforts "will be transitioned and many of the functions now performed by this office will be contracted out," he said. Many of the college's federal lobbying efforts are already handled by outside consultants.

Karamargin downplayed a suggestion that his new, shorter title was a demotion.

"I'm a news guy," he said Thursday.

Other community colleges don't give vice chancellor titles to their lead spokesmen, he said.

Lambert said a "key initiative" of the reorganized department will be a "a college news service that is aggressive in informing our community about Pima's programs, employees and students."

The shifts are a way to "streamline the college's administration," Karamargin said. "A close tie between marketing and enrollment makes complete sense. Those are the people who are recruiting new students."

Acting in the wake of the HLC probation and a temporary halt in the college's ability to enroll new students in veterans education benefit programs, Lambert also announced that he has established a task force to work on the school's compliance issues:

Lastly, I have formed a Compliance Coordination Committee to build on the self-study work we accomplished as part of the Higher Learning Commission requirements. This group's primary responsibility is to incorporate assessment and continuous improvement into all areas of our operations. They will work to make sure we have identified applicable compliance obligations under federal and state law and accreditor standards, and have appropriate policies and procedures in place to ensure continuing compliance.

The members of this committee are Vice Provost Mary Ann Martinez Sanchez, Senior Assistant to the Provost Dolores Durán-Cerda, Assistant Vice Chancellor Nicola Richmond, Assistant Vice Chancellor Diane Groover, Internal Auditor Lori Cox, and General Counsel Jeffrey Silvyn. College compliance will become a topic for regular reporting to my office and to the Board of Governors.

This reorganization should be viewed within the context of recent and upcoming changes to our administrative structure. By July 1, Dr. Erica Holmes will be on board as our new Provost, Dr. David Doré will be the new President at Northwest, and Dr. Lorraine Morales will be the new President at Community. In addition, the search for new Presidents at Downtown and Desert Vista is underway.

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