Miami Dade College’s presidential search is down to seven semifinalists after Junius Gonzales, the provost and vice president for academic affairs at the New York Institute of Technology, withdrew his application this past weekend.
College officials did not give a specific reason why he withdrew and Gonzales did not return calls from The Reporter concerning the matter.
He informed Roderick McDavis, the managing principal of the headhunter firm AGB, through email on Saturday.
“Given unforeseen developments, I write, with sincere regret, to withdraw from the MDC search and apologize for any inconvenience,” Gonzales’ email read.
The presidential search committee selected eight semifinalists for the position last Wednesday. It will meet today and Friday to interview them and choose 4-5 finalists.
“I still feel like we have seven really strong candidates,” said Nicole Washington, chair of the committee. “I’m excited about the diversity of experience and just the breadth of experience that they bring in so I’m really excited that we still have seven really strong candidates to proceed forward with.”
Gonzales’ application package was one of the biggest among the semifinalists. His letter of interest was five pages long, his curriculum vitae had 29 pages, and he provided nine references.
The search committee was impressed with his experience dealing with large and complex higher education systems in different states.
He was the interim president of the University of North Carolina system—which houses 17 institutions, 48,000 employees, 14,000 faculty and 240,000 students—from January to March of 2016, according to his letter of intent. He has also worked at Georgetown University, the University of South Florida, and the University of Texas at El Paso.
Gonzales, the son of immigrants, graduated from Brown University in 1980 and was a first-generation college student. Throughout his career, he has highlighted equity and inclusion, according to his letter of intent, by working alongside minorities and supporting them for leadership positions. His current employer, NYIT, was named the most diverse college by USA Today in February.
The presidential search committee will continue today and Friday without Gonzales. Interviews are scheduled as follows:
- Kenneth Gonzalez at 9 a.m. on Thursday.
- Morgan Phillips at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.
- Irene Rios at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday.
- Joseph DiSalvo at 2 p.m. on Thursday.
- Gregory Fowler at 8:30 a.m. on Friday.
- Madeline Pumariega at 10 a.m. on Friday.
- Carlos Cortez at 12:30 p.m. on Friday.
They will be held at Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. 2nd Ave, in the Chapman Conference Center (Room 3210). You can watch virtually via livestream at https://www.mdc.edu/livestream.