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Virginia Community College System Board Under Pressure From Governor

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The board of the Virginia Community College System agreed Wednesday to add a representative from the administration of Gov. Glenn Youngkin to a search committee for a new chancellor. The move came after Youngkin told board members to include his administration in the search process or resign, The Richmond Times-Dispatch informed.

Youngkin sought to participate in the search several months.

“If for any reason you feel you are unable to carry out this mission, I will accept your resignation until June 30 with appreciation for your service,” Youngkin wrote in a letter to the State Board of Community Colleges two weeks ago.

“We look forward to working with the governor and his team to find a new chancellor to lead Virginia’s community colleges in the coming years, and we will work to ensure that our programs remain accessible to all Virginians,” Douglas Garcia, incoming board chairman and head of the search committee, according to the statement.

Democratic state politicians have accused Youngkin of unwarranted meddling in the community college system and flouting the state’s traditional governance practices.

Meanwhile, the search is still going on intensively. Candidate Ann Holton, interim president of George Mason University and former first lady of Virginia and secretary of education, has withdrawn her name from consideration, according to Times-Dispatch. Youngkin then asked the board to reopen the hiring process, but the board continued its search and two weeks later selected Russell A. Cavalhuna, president of Henry Ford College in Michigan, as the new chancellor. However, Cavalhuna ultimately decided not to take the job last month for undisclosed reasons.

Current chancellor Glenn DuBois is retiring this week.

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