UPDATE: LBCC President Romali among 4 candidates for top post at Miami Dade College

UPDATE | Long Beach City College President Reagan Romali is now among four candidates vying to take over as president of Miami Dade College in Miami, according to reports.

After two days of video interviews, Miami Dade College’s presidential search committee voted to send four finalists to the Board of Trustees, the last stage of a four-month search process.

Romali will meet with the board on July 22 and July 23 for in-person interviews. The new president is expected to be announced on July 24.

Long Beach City College president Reagan Romali is among seven candidates to take over as president of Miami Dade College in Miami, it was reported in the Miami Herald newspaper on Friday.

Romali’s candidacy for the job comes just two years after she became president and superintendent of the Long Beach Community College District, which includes the college’s two campuses, and less than a year after LBCC’s Board of Trustees approved a 10 percent raise and a contract extension through 2022 for her last August.

Miami Dade College includes eight campuses in the Miami area and with an enrollment of more than 165,000 students; it is the second-largest college in the United States. Eduardo Padron, who announced his retirement in February, has been the college’s president since 1995.

Miami Dade College conducted an extensive search for a new president, using the head-hunting firm Diversified Search. The college’s 17-member presidential selection committee pared the field of candidates down to seven people. Kim Morrisson, of Diversified Search, said in her comments to the selection committee regarding Romali: “She’s a dynamo. She’s out there, visible, present. She’s somebody with a tremendous amount of energy and experience working in political settings.”

The seven finalists will be interviewed via video conference on June 19 and 20.

Romali did not immediately return phone calls Saturday regarding her candidacy.

Sunny Zia, president of the Long Beach Community College District Board of Trustees, said, “I don’t blame Miami Dade for wanting her. She’s done incredible work for the district and I can see why recruiters are going after her. She’s a crown jewel.”

Zia, who only recently found out about Romali’s candidacy, said the board of trustees haven’t had a chance to react to it. “But just the fact that she’s in the top seven does create some anxiety. Losing Reagan would be deleterious to the district.”

Zia said she doesn’t blame Romali for considering the job at Miami Dade. “When someone is as talented as she is, they get scouted. People do have options. You can’t really hold people captive.”

While it’s unclear how aggressive Romali is pursuing another job, Zia admitted that her candidacy at Miami Dade is a wake-up call for the board. “All we can do is make sure she’s happy and well taken care of,” said Zia.

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Tim Grobaty is a columnist and opinions editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his newspaper career at the Press-Telegram in 1976 as a copy boy and moved on to feature writer, music critic, TV critic, copy editor and daily columnist. He’s the author of several books, including I’m Dyin’ Here, and he lives in Long Beach.