Transition at Great Basin College

On Thursday, September 15 President Carl Diekhans announced he was going to step down from Great Basin College. Carl has been a great leader and representative of higher education in Nevada. The NSHE code doesn’t really have a policy for selecting an interim president. Chancellor Klaich and Regent Leavitt created a process a couple of years ago of performing a campus visit and interviewing various constituencies to determine who best could serve the campus while a permanent president is found.

On September 20-21, Chancellor Klaich, CEO Wasserman and I traveled to Elko to visit with the GBC community. Regent Melcher joined us on the trip. Tuesday night we had dinner with President Diekhans and his senior staff at the Star. President Diekhans explained the importance of a smooth transition and the need for a strong leader as he listed several initiatives currently underway including accreditation and a capital campaign.

On Wednesday, we met with and listened to faculty and staff, students, community members, foundation trustees, and the GBC Advisory Board. All of the meetings took place on the Elko campus, but in what is a strength of GBC, we were able to have interactive audio visual connections with the Battle Mountain, Ely, Pahrump and Winnemucca campuses. We also had individual meetings with senior administration and community members including former Regent Dorothy Gallagher.

As a result of the meetings, it was determined to appoint an interim president and launch a national search. Chancellor Klaich will be bringing forward a recommendation for an interim president for the Board’s consideration at its October 21 special meeting. We will then constitute a search committee and begin the task of replacing Carl. Many qualities were listed as necessary in the next president. One of those was a commitment to windshield time. As we began the 288 mile trek back to Reno, we had a full appreciation of what was meant as the next president has a 60,000-square-mile service territory.

Jason Geddes
Nevada Board of Regents