Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


February 20, 2013

Presidential search continues

Second interview conducted by trustees Wednesday

Corsicana — Navarro College trustees continued work Wednesday in their search for a new college president to replace Dr. Richard Sanchez, who is retiring in August.

Dr. Ron Liss, Vice-President for Learning at Santa Fe Community College in Santa Fe, N.M., visited the campus Wednesday for a closed interview with college trustees, followed by a public forum for staff and the community held in the college’s Dawson Auditorium.

Liss, 58, previously served as Director of Academic and Student Services at Montgomery College in Maryland. He received a Bachelor of Science in Education from the State University College of New York at Buffalo; a Master of Arts in Instructional Design from the University of Maryland Baltimore County; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education Leadership and Management from American University, Washington, D.C.

Liss said he and his wife, Anita, visited Corsicana in December, and said he was impressed with the community, its people, and the college.

“We ate in restaurants and went to grocery stores and talked to people,” Liss said. “It isn’t just coming to a job, it’s coming to a community — does it work for us? And, the answer is yes.”

Liss said he wasn’t “looking for a job,” but rather, “the right fit.” He called Navarro College “the next right fit.”

Liss said he felt he could bring a lot to the college should he be chosen.

“I bring the experiences forward that fit the kind of programming that takes place here,” he said. He cited experience in working with career and technical programs, transfer programs, and work with high schools.

“My goal, in looking at a college that has been so well run for 66 years, I feel I can bring continued stability to that,” he said. “Also, continue on the path of change and growth and moving forward.”

Liss described his management style as one of “connecting” with people.

“I need to connect with people, and build team, and build trust,” he said. “You don’t come in with trust ... it’s building those relationships, and using those relationships to move the college forward in positive ways.”

Liss said he enjoyed helping people “grow” professionally, and felt that was one of his “strong suits” in coming to a president’s position. In dealing with employees and staff who may be searching for an answer or a solution to a problem, he prefers to help them work it out instead of making a decision himself.

“What I do is work with them for them to come up with the solution, so the next time that comes up they have a process, a way of dealing with that situation ... I like to call it ‘Mentoring for Growth.’”

Liss also said he was experienced in working with business and industry to help develop career-technical programs to meet the needs of employers in the area, one of the areas that Navarro College has excelled in.

“I’ve done that a good part of my career,” he said. “That requires that connection to businesses and industry, as well as bringing them on as partners in our advisory programs.”

Liss became emotional when asked about his views on safety and security on campus, citing first-hand experiences with family members of victims of the 9-11 terrorist strike against the nation, and about legislation before the Texas legislature that would allow guns to be carried on campus by concealed handgun licensees.

He paused as he told the story of a girl he knew while living in Washington who lost a family member in the crash at the Pentagon. He said she dropped out of school after the attacks.

“It’s personal,” he said. “Virginia Tech was just down the road — it’s personal.”

Liss said he felt that allowing weapons to be carried on campus was not a solution to the instances of violence that have occurred recently.

“I’ve talked with many experts,” he said. “Their advice — don’t bring guns on campus.”

He stressed the importance of having an emergency response team, plans for that team, and practice.

“It’s not just how a team handles it,” he added. “It’s everyone’s responsibility.”

Liss said his time in Corsicana allowed him time to visit with a number of college staffers and the community.

“From my perspective, it’s been great,” he said. “I hope they are seeing the same thing from me, that it’s a team that can be brought together.”

Because of the bomb threat that was called into the college on Wednesday, the visit with Dr. Barbara Kavalier scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 21 has been moved to Friday, Feb. 22. Kavalier will meet in closed session with college trustees Friday morning, and attend a public forum in Dawson Auditorium Friday at 3 p.m.

College trustees will hold their regular board meeting at 7 p.m. Friday.


Bob Belcher may be reached by email at Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email:


Text Only
  • 4-29-14 DD Car Show Main copy.jpg Shakers and Scrapers Car Show enjoys nice weather, big turnout

    The 11th Annual Shakers and Scrapers Car Show went off without a hitch Saturday thanks to the leadership of new event organizers Mustang Sally Productions (MSP).

    April 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • 3-27 Expo Steers Grand.jpg Three-peat: Blooming Grove's McGraw claims Grand Champion steer

    It was a year of repeats for students entered in the 2014 Steer Show at the Navarro County Youth Expo.Lainie McGraw, 17, of Blooming Grove FFA, won the Grand Champion steer, as she did last year and the year before; and Noah Grounds, 15, of Blooming Grove/Barry 4-H won Grand Champion Showmanship, as he did last year. He also won the top prize for showmanship in the heifer show this year. He won reserve champion in that category last year.

    March 27, 2014 4 Photos

  • 3-28 Expo Meat Rabbit Grand.jpg Clagett takes top pen in Market Rabbits Division

    Josiah Clagett of Corsicana FFA won Grand Champion in the Breeding Rabbits Division in 2010. It was his “rookie” year and first time to show.

    Clagett came full circle this year to claim the other top rabbit title. He took home Grand Champion honors in the Market Rabbit Division Thursday at the 56th Annual Navarro County Youth Expo. The winning pen was the only one he entered.

    March 27, 2014 4 Photos

  • 3-26-14 Expo Commercial heifers.jpg Curl wins first leg of Commercial Heifers

    Caleb Curl, 13, of Frost FFA, won grand champion of the commercial heifer show, the first leg of the commercial heifer overall prizes. Unlike a lot of the other animal categories, commercial heifers aren't show-things with smooth coats and stardust on their hooves. They're straight out of the pasture, a bit muddy and certainly not the lady-like, pampered creatures that will be led around the ring in the registered heifer show.

    March 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • football-generic.jpg LIVE BLOG: College football signing day

    Follow all the action on college football Signing Day with coverage from across the CNHI network as well as from the national sports media. Live coverage begins at 8 a.m. ET.

    February 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • 11-21-13 Annie.jpg ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ through Sunday at the Palace

    It’s the big musical, the one that makes me think of ‘cast of thousands,’ or in our case, dozens at least, and it’s here only for a few short days. ‘Annie Get Your Gun,’ is Irving Berlin’s candy box treasure of a play about Annie Oakley, the sharpshooter in love with a showman.
    It’s presented by the Warehouse Living Arts Center but because of its size is on stage at the Palace Theatre. Shows will be at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday, with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee.

    November 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • 11-21-13 Farmer of the Year.jpg Short named Farmer of the Year

    Agriculture businesses like farming and ranching are the backbone of Navarro County. Many farming families go back several generations.
    Since at least 1965, the Corsicana Rotary Club (Wednesday club) has recognized and said “thank you” to the unsung heroes of the soil.

    November 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • 11-21-13 Hospital.jpg New clinic open

    A new medical practice in partnership with Navarro Regional Hospital is now offering comprehensive occupational medicine services.

    November 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • Purdon man sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for gun violations

    Erik Willis, 31 of Purdon, was sentenced this afternoon by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to serve a total of 258 months in federal prison following his conviction at trial in July 2013 on three felony firearms offenses, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

    November 20, 2013

  • 8-6 Weather Graphic.jpg Heat Advisory issued for North Texas

    • Avoid the Heat. Stay out of the heat and indoors as much as possible. Spend time in an air conditioned space. Only two hours a day in an air-conditioned space can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illness.

    August 5, 2013 1 Photo

AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Seasonal Content
House Ads
Twitter Updates
Front page
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide