NORTH BAY – The board of trustees of the Napa Valley Community College District has officially begun the search for a new superintendent-president to replace Dr. Chris McCarthy, who died unexpectedly last year.

Community College Search Services, a firm that specializes in the recruitment of college administrators, has begun a two-month-long search.

“There is a lot of interest in this position,” said past president of Sierra College, Dr. Kevin Ramirez. Dr. Ramirez is heading the committee to find likely candidates for the position.

“We have already sent out information to 1,900 individuals,” he said.

This is in addition to advertising in various publications around the country.

“The whole economy is such a mess everywhere,” said Dr. Ramirez. “We want to find someone who has financial acumen and understands community college finance.”

He said other qualities they are looking for include an understanding of the mission of Napa Valley. He stressed the collaborative nature of the position and the importance that whoever is hired understands the community at large as well as the college.

Once College Search Services is done with its search, it will pass on names to a committee of 16 individuals comprised of faculty, students and community members.

They will interview the candidates in March and pass on several finalists to the board of trustees to make the final decision.

That is expected to happen in the late spring or early summer. In the meantime, Armond Phillips has been serving as the interim president.  He has been a member of the Napa Valley College Foundation and has a long history of service as an administrator in California community colleges.

Charles Meng, president of the board of trustees said in a statement, “The Napa Valley College community is extraordinarily proud of the campus culture we have created here.  To put it simply, we all get along."

He said the goal is to have the new superintendent/president in office by July 2010.

Applications are being accepted through March 22.