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Finalists in presidential search hold public forums

Finalists+in+presidential+search+hold+public+forums%2C+Gregory+Anderson+and+Lynn+Neault.+%28Claudia+Rodriguez%2FThe+Telescope%29
Finalists in presidential search hold public forums, Gregory Anderson and Lynn Neault. (Claudia Rodriguez/The Telescope)

Both finalists in Palomar’s presidential search participated in public forums held at the Howard Brubeck Theatre on Nov. 6.

Palomar Presidential candidate Dr. Neault talks during a public forum held at the  Howard Brubeck Theatre on Nov 6. Philip Farry / The Telescope
Palomar Presidential candidate Dr. Neault talks during a public forum held at the Howard Brubeck Theatre on Nov 6. Philip Farry / The Telescope

Dr. Lynn Neault and Dr. Gregory Anderson were both given an hour to present their qualifications for the position and answer questions that were sent to the human resources department prior to the forums.

Both candidates work at colleges in California. Dr. Neault is the current vice chancellor of Student Services in the San Diego Community College district, while Dr. Anderson is the vice president of Instruction at Cañada College.

Neault said that her most important attribute is her 25 years of experience and the resulting local relationships. She added that these things would be assets in her presidency.

She also explained that she comes from an immigrant background. Her grandparents didn’t speak English, and her parents struggled to make ends meet.

I may look like a white woman of privilege … that could not be farther from the truth,” Neault said. “I am our students.”

Anderson referred to his international teaching experiences and his ability to be a role model as distinguishing features in his campaign.

“So by modeling empathetic, supportive communication, you’re going to find me as somebody who is accessible, somebody transparent and somebody dedicated to this campus,” Anderson said.

Palomar Presidential candidate Dr. Gregory Anderson talks during a public forum held at the Howard Brubeck Theatre on Nov 6. Claudia Rodriguez / The Telescope
Palomar Presidential candidate Dr. Gregory Anderson talks during a public forum held at the Howard Brubeck Theatre on Nov 6. Claudia Rodriguez / The Telescope

Anderson went on to explain that, because of his rich background with diverse communities, he could easily relate to the diversity on campus.

“We have diverse students, our job then is to ensure we are serving each of them in ways that are appropriate and helpful to them,” he said.

Adrian Gonzales, Palomar’s current interim president, said that both candidates bring different skills to the table. Anderson comes from the instructional side of college administration, while Neault’s background is in student services.

But “both are equally important for the success of a college,” Gonzales said.

Neault’s district is one of the largest in California, comprising multiple colleges across San Diego. She has served as the interim president of San Diego City College from 2013 to 2014, and considers herself an expert in community college operations.

Neault added she would be “fair, deliberative and data-driven in all my decisions.”

Anderson became vice president of instruction at Cañada College in 2013. He is multilingual, a former Peace Corps member and has served various teaching positions around the world, according to his bio on Cañada’s website.

Malik Spence, student government president, thinks both candidates could do well for the college.

“I believe they’d fit in at the college. Dr. Neault seems to put emphasis on relationships. Dr. Anderson … he’d fit because he’s more business-oriented,” Spence said.

Palomar’s president and superintendent position was vacated when Robert Deegan retired in June of 2015.

Mike Popielski, the moderator at the forum, said that the Governing Board is looking to make a final decision and have the position filled by January of 2016.

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Finalists in presidential search hold public forums