Guest View: Gavilan president for a month reaps $20,000?

Gavilan College President Steve Kinsella.

Back surgery will keep Gavilan College President Steve Kinsella out of his office for a month this spring. But presumably following the surgery and an initial recovery period, he’ll be available on the phone should any need for a critical emergency decision arise.

Yet the Gavilan College trustees decided to spend $20,000 of taxpayer dollars to hire an interim president – retired educator Victor Krimsley – to hold down the fort for one month. Why, why, why?

The unanimous decision begs so many questions, the first of which is … Couldn’t trustees find a higher educational use for $20,000 or is the college so flush with cash that $20k is a drop in the bucket?

It’s really baffling considering all the consternation the public has been hearing about the community college budgets over the last few years.

So, perhaps a trustee can answer these questions that came up during an Editorial Board meeting:

• Is there not a single administrator underneath the college president who could handle the duties for a month – or split the president’s duties between two administrators?

• What is the succession plan at Gavilan College? Is there one?

• Are all the administrators below Kinsella incapable of ascending to the presidency should Kinsella retire or leave?

• If that’s the case, what does it say about hiring and training at the administrative level at the college?

• Is there a lack of camaraderie in the ranks below the president’s level that requires the hiring of an outside administrator for such a short period of time?

• Is this a Kinsella micromanagement/control issue?

The answers are not apparent. What is apparent is that trustees were quick to shell out taxpayer cash without defining why such a move was necessary for such a short time period. The culture of trustees spending top dollar on the administrative level is clearly intact, but the questions being asked publicly are still … why, why, why?


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