Tuesday, April 1, 2008 | 11:50 a.m.
The College of Southern Nevada's interim president could become a candidate for the school's permanent presidency.
Michael Richards has led the college since summer, when his predecessor took a job in Texas. His contract for the interim presidency specifies that he does not intend to be a candidate for the permanent position.
That appears to have changed.
Richards is not available for comment today. But later this week, the Board of Regents that governs higher education will consider allowing Richards to be included in CSN's search for a permanent president.
Final candidates for the position are expected to be announced this month. Regent Steve Sisolak, who is chairing the regents' search committee, said he wanted to let Richards apply because the only internal applicant vying to lead CSN dropped out of the running recently.
Having an internal candidate will give the CSN community the option of having "stability and continuity" as the college undergoes painful budget cuts, Sisolak said. He credited Richards with encouraging students and
faculty members to work together to address budget problems.
"I've been approached by several of my colleagues who have been very impressed by the way he's handled the interim job," Sisolak said of Richards.
"He's very calm, he's relaxed. The highs aren't too high and the lows aren't too low."
Sisolak noted that including Richards in the search "doesn't assure that he gets anywhere, just that he be looked at."
Regents initially did not want Richards to apply for the permanent job. That's because they did not want him to be able to use his power to curry favor with members of a committee advising regents in the search process, Sisolak said. Several people who sit on that committee are CSN administrators and faculty members whom Richards supervises.
But with only weeks left before final candidates are announced, Sisolak believes that concern is no longer compelling. Later this week, we'll find out if his fellow regents agree.