The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

CCC candidate plans to stay


October 6, 2019

Kevin Wilson

Greg South, right, speaks with Clovis Community College Interim President Robin Kuykendall during a community forum Monday afternoon at the college. South, interim vice president of academic affairs at Portersville College in California, is one of five finalists for the president position at CCC.

CLOVIS — As Greg South talked to Clovis citizens about his desire to be Clovis Community College's next president, the fives kept coming up.

First, there were the five elements he believed any community college needed to possess - credit transferability, basic skills training, technology, lifelong learning and continuing education.

"If you can't do those things," said South, interim vice president of academic affairs at Portersville College in California, "you're just a junior college."

The other fives were indications that CCC would not be a stepping stone should he be picked to succeed Becky Rowley, who left in June to take the president's position at Santa Fe Community College.

South spoke of his desire to buy five acres in Clovis, and establish his presence beyond the 10 years he hoped to contribute to the position. And he motioned to his cell phone, noting it still has the 575 area code because he always planned to come back to the Land of Enchantment after leaving a four-year stint at New Mexico Military Institute in 2009.

Nearly 20 people came to the public forum, which signaled the light at the end of the tunnel for the day-long run-through that included tours of the campus and Clovis, a forum with CCC staff and a closed-door interview with the CCC Board of Trustees.

South said the community college president needs to be able to connect and make relationships in the community, and to make an impact in Santa Fe while seeking funding and favorable legislation. The system is much different in California, where 117 community college all work through one person in Sacramento who brings all requests to legislators.

A key, he said, is to "be apolitical, because administrations change."

South said nearly every institution he's worked with has had some level of allied health, and he is impressed with what CCC is doing with its programs. He mentioned previous schools offering dental hygiene programs, but noted he'd have to look at demographics and needs before knowing whether that would be a good fit for CCC. Health programs, he said, serve needs in the community but often run in the red in early years due to equipment costs. Those programs, he said, are normally subsidized by the enrollment dollars from general education classes that have plenty of students but have fewer material demands.

In response to various questions, South noted the need to have good data to make decisions, to make decisions that put students first and to recognize nothing happens without a good foundation of employees.


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