Critics questioning outgoing state Senate President Don Williams’ pursuit of the presidency of Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) are missing something very important. Having Williams at the top of the school’s staff listing brings a certain seriousness and gravitas that can’t be measured by a résumé. He’d be a perfect choice for the job.
Many of Williams’ positive qualities would transfer nicely to an academic setting. He is a low-key,laid back kind of manager who knows how to bring people together; he’s a consensus builder, something important in an academic setting. (Full disclosure: I worked as communications director for Williams for several years.)
A story in CT Mirror says, “A handful of staff at the campus have expressed concerns to CT Mirror about Williams’s political connections, his background in academia and whether he is qualified for the position.” Williams’ political connections and background are exactly why he should be named president. The school could use a big name at the top. It would surely benefit from having a former (and longest serving) Senate president who can get things done.
Also not to be overlooked is Williams’ genuine love of northeastern Connecticut. He has fought for the “quiet corner” for 20 years. He knows the terrain, the people, and the unique characteristics of the area. Again, it’s something that can’t be measured by a curriculum vitae.
The job description for the position of president reads, “”The successful candidate will be a proven leader and a visionary who understands current trends in higher education and can create a collaborative, team approach to strategic planning. A clear understanding of and passion for the philosophy and mission of the community college, with an emphasis on community, will be required of the new President. Successful experience in faculty relations, sound fiscal management, and the ability to work both up and down in a complex system structure will be key.”
Williams meets these requirements amd more. Others may have a stronger background in education but in totality, Williams bring more to the table than most if not all other applicants.