MDC Releases Detailed Timeline For Presidential Search

Two weeks after Miami Dade College’s Board of Trustees announced it would pick the school’s next president on Nov. 17, it released a detailed outline of how that process will play out. 

Applicants have until Oct. 23 to meet the priority consideration deadline. The 17-member presidential search committee will meet on Oct. 28 to pick eight to 10 semifinalists and reconvene on Nov. 5-6, narrowing the pool to four or five finalists. 

The finalists will visit campus, make presentations to the community and interview with the BOT on Nov. 12-13

“While there is still a level of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, we must remain flexible,” said Trustee Nicole Washington, who chairs the search committee. 

Despite the application deadline, candidates can continue to apply until a new president is selected, according to MDC’s Presidential Profile

The loophole could allow MDC to sneak in applicants at the last minute without public scrutiny, according to Judith A. Wilde, chief operating officer of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, who is conducting research on secret presidential searches. 

“It’s a way to get around the [Florida] Sunshine Law,” Wilde said. 

AGB Search—the headhunting firm conducting the process for MDC—will vet semi-finalists by searching their name on Google, social media and LexisNexis.

Assisting Roderick J. McDavis, the firm’s managing principal, in the vetting process will be: associate managing principal Melissa K. Trotta and executive search consultants Carlos Hernández and Fred Moore

 A more thorough background check will be performed on the finalists. AGB Search will speak to references, current and former colleagues of the candidates. KENTECH—a background check company—will investigate their financial records, educational degrees, criminal records, court records and more. 

The team will have less than a week to vet all of the finalists.

“The greatest problem with search firms is that they don’t do very much of what we refer to, in the broad category of due diligence,” Wilde said. “If you want a quick decision, when is that due diligence going to be done? Can it be done?” 

McDavis disagrees. 

“This is really giving us as much time as, probably we’ve ever had to do a search, quite frankly, because typically our searches take between four to six months,” McDavis said. “We’ve got more than sufficient time to recruit top candidates.”

Miami Dade College’s fifth permanent president is expected to start in January of 2021. No specific date has been selected.

MDC Presidential Search Timeline:
Oct. 23 by 11:59 p.m. Priority consideration deadline for candidates. 
Oct. 28

2-4 p.m.

Presidential search committee will review candidates, and select 8-10 semifinalists. 
Nov. 5-6

8 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Presidential search committee will conduct video interviews with the semi-finalists, and select 4-5 finalists. 

AGB Search will begin vetting finalists. 

Nov. 12-138 a.m. – 5 p.m. Finalists will visit MDC to meet with MDC students, faculty and staff and make presentations to the community. They will also be interviewed by the BOT. 
Nov.  17 at 8 a.m. The BOT is expected to select MDC’s fifth permanent president.