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Incoming PCC Interim Chancellor: ‘Pima a Great Institution’

April 12, 2013

Veteran educator Dr. Zelema Harris to begin work on April 15

Tucson, AZ – Pima Community College’s incoming Interim Chancellor introduced herself to the community Wednesday night, declaring that “Pima is a great institution” and pledging to address the concerns of the community and the Higher Learning Commission, the College’s accreditor.

Dr. Zelema Harris, a veteran educator with 30 years’ experience at community colleges, spoke via a webcam at the April 10 Regular Meeting of the PCC Governing Board. Dr. Harris begins work at PCC on Monday and will stay until a permanent Chancellor is chosen. The Board recently reaffirmed its goal of having a permanent Chancellor on the job by July.

Dr. Harris said her goal as Interim Chancellor is to “work collaboratively with all constituent groups” to address concerns within PCC and the community after PCC receives word of its status by the HLC.

PCC soon will be notified by the HLC of a change in its status. HLC President Sylvia Manning has indicated she would recommend to the HLC Executive Board that PCC be placed on probation. (You can read documents regarding PCC’s status on the Accreditation page of the College website.)

Dr. Harris said that a letter sent by PCC faculty to the HLC requesting the College receives a lesser sanction “was a positive aspect of the healing process.”

Dr. Harris also said she intends to collaborate with constituencies to prepare for the new Chancellor. “The new Chancellor will need support, wise guidance and transparency,” she said.

From 2007 to 2011, Dr. Harris served as Chancellor of St. Louis Community College, Missouri’s largest community college system. She also served as President of Parkland College in Champaign, Ill. and President of Penn Valley Community College in Kansas City, Mo.

Dr. Harris’ contract was unanimously approved April 2 by the Governing Board. She was among five candidates interviewed by the Board and representatives of College employee groups.

CONTACT:
C.J. Karamargin
Vice Chancellor for Public Information and Federal Government Relations
(520) 206-4850
ckaramargin@pima.edu