Campus & Community

Palm Beach State College narrows presidential candidates to four

From an international pool of 161 applicants vying to become the next president of Palm Beach State College, a search committee on Thursday narrowed the field to four.

The finalists are:  James D. Henningsen, Ed.D., president of the College of Central Florida; Ava L. Parker, J.D., executive vice president and chief operating officer of Florida Polytechnic University; Joseph A. Sarnovsky, Ed.D., executive vice president and chief financial officer of Seminole State College of Florida; and G. Devin Stephenson, Ed.D., chief executive officer of Summit Higher Education Consulting.

They emerged as the top candidates through a national search that the College launched last fall after Dr. Dennis Gallon announced his intention to retire June 30, 2015.

Campus tours, community forums slated next week
The finalists will tour PBSC campuses and meet with the community, faculty, staff and students April 13-14.  The campus forums are open to the public, and community members are encouraged to attend. For the forum schedule and candidate profiles, visit

Trustees Wendy S. Link and Carolyn L. Williams co-chaired the 15-member Presidential Search Committee representing community, education and business leaders and PBSC faculty, staff and students. The committee reviewed the credentials of the 161 applicants and conducted initial interviews of top candidates by videoconference to get to the finalist recommendations.

“Each of the four finalists is a distinguished leader with a proven track record of success in higher education,” said Link. “We greatly appreciate the search committee’s commitment and diligent work to identify these exceptional candidates in a very large field.”

The College’s District Board of Trustees will interview the finalists April 15 and hopes to have a new president on board July 1.

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