LIMA — Dr. Cynthia Spiers, the second of three candidates for the job of Rhodes State College president, wants to take the interim tag off her title, but she must first outshine two other finalists for the position.
“I have breadth and depth at this institution,” said Spiers. “I have run from the ground up and across the institution in academics, student affairs, institutional effectiveness and working with the president’s office and I think I just have a really clear understanding from the 18 years at Rhodes State about works here, where some of the challenges are and lots of opportunities.”
On Aug. 22, the public got a chance to hear from the first candidate, Dr. David Devier, president and CEO of Glen Oaks Community College in Centerville, Michigan.
Tuesday night, a meet and greet was hosted at Rhodes State College for people to talk to Spiers.
Spiers has been interim president since Dr. Debra McCurdy left in April for a similar position at Baltimore City Community College in Baltimore, Maryland.
Spiers had been the special assistant to the president at Rhodes and previously served as vice president of student affairs and director of institutional effectiveness and planning at Rhodes State.
“I have had other experiences at other institutions, larger than Rhodes, and I just think that helped develop my leadership skills to deal with larger organizational issues and, again, opportunities. I believe I bring the skill sets that they need,” said Spiers.
She has more than 26 years of experience in higher education, with 13 years as a senior-level administrator.
“My management style is very collaborative and from what people have told me that I inspire people to do the things that they do best. I believe that we have a great group of faculty/staff/administrators. I have a wonderful cabinet that I’m working with right now and when you release them to do what they do best, they excel,” Spiers added.
During a question and answer session, one member of the audience asked, “Can you tell us how you moved forward with the community on Rhodes State’s mission?”
“Living the mission is about understanding what it means, first of all. If I were to be president, I would believe you would see us come together in a culture that enables people to be innovative, to feel free to try and take a risk, not worried about failure, because we can always move forward. I don’t look at it as a failure, I look at it as agile management.”
The third and final candidate, Dr. Lauri White, vice president of academic affairs at Central Ohio Technical College in Newark, Ohio, will attend a similar meet and greet 4 to 6 p.m. Sept. 4 in Keese Hall Multipurpose Center.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.