Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

February 23, 2013

Third finalist for college post meet with trustees

Corsicana — On Friday afternoon, Dr. Barbara Kavalier, currently President of San Jose City College in San Jose, Calif., was the third presidential finalist to speak at Navarro College.

Although she was the finalist who came from the farthest away, Kavalier made it clear her roots are in Texas, and that she would be honored to get the job as president at Navarro.

“Although I love my job at San Jose, California is not Texas, and I’m a native Texan,” she said.

Prior to her presidency in San Jose, Kavalier held the positions of Interim President and Vice-President of Student Services at San Diego Mesa College in San Diego, Calif. She received an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree from Mountain View College in Texas; a Bachelor of Science in Education and English from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth; a Master of Arts in Business and Human Relations from Amberton University in Texas; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Among her accomplishments, Kavalier pointed to the recent success of San Jose in coming off state sanctions, which it had been on since 2004; programs she initiated at Mesa and San Jose in working with veterans, and first-time college students, and improving morale for faculty and staff.

“There’s so much potential here,” she said, referring to the work of current President Richard Sanchez and the board, which have put the college on a sound footing financially, and in creating partnerships in the career technical programs, such as the John Deere program.

Kavalier said she didn’t want to go to a college with a lot of problems, and she praised the solid foundations already at Navarro.

She called herself a “transformational leader,” someone who helps to implement change in a considerate and thoughtful manner by getting people engaged.

“I don’t believe in micro-managing, but I do believe in accountability,” she said.

Her mission as the school’s leader is to create an atmosphere where the staff is excited to come to work, she said.

“If you want to make great things happen it’s all about developing a cohesive team,” she said.

Several times, Kavalier had the audience of about 65 people laughing, at jokes about her fondness for the Collin Street Bakery’s cherry icebox cookies, for example.

Kavalier dodged a couple of questions about allowing guns on campus, and whether or not to have a dress codes for students and staff, saying those weren’t her decisions to make. In the first instance, she said she would defer to the board, and in the second case, she said it would be something the college community needed to have a conversation about.

She praised the college’s athletics program as a great way to improve recruitment and to help students stay engaged, and although she said she hadn’t overseen student housing before, she did say she admired it. San Jose is building a dorm now, she said.

“There’s something special and magical about having campus housing,” she said. It builds community, Kavalier said.

On the subject of finances, Kavalier admitted to enjoying working with numbers.

“I love dealing with budgets,” Kavalier said. Her financial management experience dated back to her work a dean at Mountain View Community College where she was responsible for knowing where every penny was. To help her in her work with college finances, she obtained a master’s degree in business administration.

“I have a lot of experience (in finance),” she said. “I take it pretty seriously.”

Kavalier was originally scheduled to speak at a forum on Thursday, but it was canceled because of a bomb threat. Kavalier praised the president and board for making the decision to shut down the campus Thursday, saying that student and staff security were a priority.


Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail:

Text Only
Latest News
  • Candelario Garcia Jr. (main) Honoring a hero

    Since March of this year, the family of Candelario Garcia Jr. has been so proud of him, they could burst.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • County Budget Commissioners start budget process

    The Navarro County Commissioner’s Court held its first budget workshop Wednesday, the first of a dozen or more over the next month or so.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23-14 pianos main.jpg Public pianos invite players

    Corsicana has always been a musical town, with emphasis on country and western, rock and roll, bluegrass and Gospel, but now the parks and recreation department is moving towards bringing music to the masses in a different way. They’re going to put pianos downtown, on the sidewalks for anyone to play at random.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Navarro County 4-H Club holds event

    Texas A&M AgriLife Extention will hold Summer Exploration Days at the Navarro County Expo on Tuesday, July 29 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

    July 22, 2014

  • New date for IPL Job Fair announced

    Tarrant Regional Water District IPL (integrated pipe line) Project will hold a Job Fair from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 at The Cook Center.

    July 22, 2014

  • Making voting easier

    A new county-wide voting system would let voters cast a ballot at any polling place on election day, eliminating the need to drive to a specific precinct to vote.

    July 22, 2014

  • Aaron Tidwell Tidwell tapped for top Mildred High post

    A baseball coach at heart, about a year ago Aaron Tidwell began to seriously focus on education administration. He just didn’t think an opportunity would present itself so soon. Mildred Independent School District board members approved the 31-year-old Corsicana native as the high school’s new principal Monday night.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • OCIW treasure Mantle worthy: Oil City presented with Texas Treasure Business Award

    Maybe Oil City Iron Works is worth double the treasure. After all, the local icon honored Monday with a state award for employers in business for 50 years has actually been around for 128.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-22-14 meth raid.jpg Five arrested in meth raid

    The Corsicana Police Department executed a raid on an alleged meth house Saturday afternoon, and it was done in about 45 minutes, all but the paperwork.
    “That part is on-going, reports and follow-up,” said Police Chief Randy Bratton on Monday.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Perry orders 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to border

    AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry says he's deploying as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border after growing tied of "lip service" from the federal government.

    July 21, 2014