OK, so I’m a little late commenting on this one, but I’ll weigh in nonetheless.
Amarillo College’s Board of Regents made a sterling choice in naming Russell Lowery-Hart as the college’s next president.
Having said that, I still wish Lowery-Hart would have been put to a stronger test than he got before regents named him their sole finalist for the post, succeeding Paul Matney, who retired after a 40-plus-year affiliation with the college.
Lowery-Hart was second in command at AC. So he doesn’t climb many rungs on the ladder to take the top administrative job.
I get that regents know him well, that he knows the college political and academic infrastructure inside and out, and that he has virtually no learning curve to negotiate as he takes command of the staff.
Over the past few weeks I’ve visited with friends associated with Amarillo College. They all sang Lower-Hart’s praises as a man, an administrator, educator and someone who loves AC. They like his vision and the way he expresses it. They like that he’s “one of us.”
My only wish would have been that regents invited in candidates from other regions, interviewed them along with Lowery-Hart and then considered their visions, outlooks, approaches and credentials.
Something tells me Lower-Hart would have stacked up well against any set of applicants with whom he would compete.
A thorough vetting and comparison with other candidates would have strengthened the local guy tremendously and — were he to still get the job — strengthened the school he was chosen to lead.
Still, I extend my best wishes to the new Amarillo College president.