What ARC should look for in the next college president

The college should consider a few characteristics during its search


American River College is looking for a new president after Melanie Dixon left at the end of the fall 2022 semester, and there are a few characteristics that ARC should look for during the search. (Photo by Heather Amberson)

American River College is looking for a new president after former president Melanie Dixon announced she was leaving at the end of the fall 2022 semester. Frank Kobayashi, ARC’s interim president, will serve until a new president can be found, but he will not put himself in the running to be the permanent president.

There are a few things that ARC should be looking for when deciding on the next president. 

One thing that ARC should look for in the next president is someone who is personable. Dixon excelled at making herself available and keeping everyone in the ARC community involved in what is happening around campus. 

This is a quality that is important for a president, because it makes students and staff feel connected to the campus, and assured that they are in good hands. 

ARC should also seek a president with a diverse background who has held jobs in different levels of the education system. 

This will help the next president understand this college’s various populations and also give them a better idea of how to navigate a college and its community. 

ARC students should ask for a president with good communication skills. The ability for students to know that they can talk and share what they think with someone that can actually listen and understand is fundamental. 

This may lead to ARC looking for a good ‘problem-solving’ figure in the school, which may be an essential characteristic in a president. 

If a president has good problem solving skills, they can minimize issues that arise on or around the campus, and can lead the charge to getting things fixed quickly and effectively. 

Any president, whether new or experienced, will need to assist with a variety of demanding and difficult circumstances. As a result, they must develop their prioritization and step-by-step instructions for fixing the current challenges.

As there is a decline in attendance, ARC should also seek a president who can meet the needs of students and open up the campus. Many students, staff and former students who dropped out have voiced how moving classes online have negatively affected their progress. 

Holding staff accountable to hold classes in person will bring students back to campus and bring life and community back to ARC. Students will also have the opportunity to grow, gain experience and even have chances to have new doors open that will affect the rest of their life.

If ARC finds someone with some, or all, of these characteristics, they will have a strong president who can help the college grow stronger.