NORMAL — A longtime administrator at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove will be the first of four finalists for Heartland Community College president to have a public forum on campus.
Melinda Tejada, vice president of student development at Waubonsee, will take part in an open session for the community and alumni from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday in Room 2210 of the Astroth Community Education Center on the Raab Road campus.
In addition, she will participate in interviews and forums with Heartland employees Thursday and Friday.
Tejada has worked at Waubonsee in various roles since 1988 and has been in her current position since March 2012.
Her responsibilities as vice president include overseeing admissions, records, registration, athletics, financial aid, student life, counseling and career development. She provided leadership for the remodel of the college's athletics program and the addition of a field house.
She has a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction from Northern Illinois University, a master's degree in counseling psychology from George Williams College in Downers Grove and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Murray State University in Murray, Ky.
Waubonsee has four campuses, serving 14,000 students annually. Its athletics program includes six sports each for men and women, plus co-ed cheerleading.
Tejada is the only finalist whose name has been made public by the college. The names of the other finalists will be made public the week of each candidate's campus visit.
A public session will take place from 11:45 to 12:30 p.m. the first day of each candidate's visit. The dates for the other finalists' visits are Feb. 26-27, March 1-2 and March 5-6.
Fifty applicants applied to succeed Rob Widmer as president. He is retiring on June 30, and the next president is expected to start work in July.
The Washington, D.C.-based firm Academic Search is assisting with the search process. The firm is being paid $50,000 plus travel expenses.
Widmer is the third president in Heartland's history and has served as leader since June 2013.