February 8, 2012
BY JOSH OLDHAM | Ranger Reporter
The position of Amarillo College president is one of the most prestigious positions in the Amarillo community.
The responsibilities of the office often are heavy, and only certain types of people would find themselves suited to hold the office.
“The president is responsible for all aspects of what goes on at AC,” said Jerry Moller, dean of the academic transfer program. “He’s the one the community looks to.”
One of the primary responsibilities of the president’s office is to maintain good relations with the community at large and serve as the college’s public face.
The president’s office also maintains academic integrity. “Students pay to become educated individuals,” said Dr. Mary Dodson, an English professor.
“It should be the first priority to ensure academic integrity and academic freedom in the classroom.”
Even though the goals of good community relations and academic integrity are enough to fill anyone’s plate, the presidency also is faced with several other projects and responsibilities.
“The president oversees the senior leadership of the institution,” said Dr. Paul Matney, president since 2009. “We have a cabinet of six officers who are part of the senior leadership.”
“We are in charge of making sure that the policies that the board of regents set forth are implemented.”
Yet even implementing policies is not the end of the president’s job. “Another big responsibility at this position is the budget,” Matney said, “I am charged to bring to the board every year a balanced budget.”
The burden of creating a budget is not a light one, as the cuts in the budget in the past few years have required cutting programs and employment positions. The president also must communicate well with the Texas Legislature.
“One of the qualities of a good president, I say, would be integrity,” Moller said. “Integrity must be above reproach.”
Others echoed Moller’s view of presidential qualities, though not everyone believes it should be confined to the president himself.
“One who is honest with himself and others,” Dodson said. “Doesn’t give in to pressure from the outside and is true to his core beliefs. And again, I think one of the core beliefs has to be academic integrity, that the students are here to learn.”
Matney said a good president should enjoy working with people along with having good communication skills and the ability to plan.