NORWALK — Cerritos College has hired the dean of instruction of the largest community college in Pennsylvania to be its vice president of instructional services and assistant superintendent.
George P. Melican, who is currently at the 80,000-student Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, was chosen by a unanimous vote of the seven-member Cerritos College Board of Trustees.
Melican, 45, begins work in June at the 18,000-student college here. Melican, who has a two-year contract, will be paid $70,344 annually.
After nearly a year of searching for a vice president and months of squabbling with some faculty over hiring procedures, board President Dale Hardeman said, "Everybody is satisfied with the process. Everyone participated in the selection."
In July, the board had selected a Texas community college administrator for the position over the objections of some of the Cerritos faculty. He was Manuel G. Rivera, vice president of academic affairs at San Antonio College in San Antonio.
Not a Finalist
The board selected Rivera from a preliminary list of eight candidates reviewed by the faculty screening committee, but he was not one of the three finalists recommended by the committee. That angered some faculty.
The issue became moot when Rivera, after accepting the position, changed his mind and became president of San Bernardino Valley College.
The friction caused by the Rivera selection process "is old history. It doesn't exist anymore," said Ernest A. Martinez, president of Cerritos College.
"Things are better than the last time," said John Boyle, chairman of the Faculty Senate. "The level of rancor is down. Everyone I've spoken to is happy."
Five faculty members were on the college's 10-member search committee, which reviewed 90 applications for the job. Sixteen applicants were interviewed by the committee and four finalists were interviewed by Martinez and the board.
Melican was selected for a number of reasons, Hardeman said, including "his extraordinary energy, he's a self-starter, very well qualified and very articulate on curriculum in California."
Melican, who was born in Worcester, Mass., has an undergraduate degree in biology from Worcester State College, a master's degree in biology from Framingham State College and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts.
He has served as chancellor of the Community College System of Alaska, which has 11 colleges. Melican also has been dean of continuing education at both Eastern Michigan University and Worcester State College.
As vice president of Cerritos College, Melican's duties will include developing instructional programs for students, staff development, developing vocational education and preparing the annual budget. As assistant superintendent, Melican will become acting president of the college in Martinez's absence.
Melican is married and has four children. His wife Kathleen, 45, is a family nurse practitioner in private practice. His three oldest children are college students on the West Coast. The oldest, Joe, 20, attends Northern Arizona State University in Flagstaff. Tim, 19, attends San Diego State and his twin, Tom, attends the University of California, Santa Barbara. Kristen, 15, is a high school sophomore.