“They were all fantastic candidates, but we felt Dr. Rodriguez was the right person for the job,” TSC Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Trey Mendez said. “As a college, as a board, and as a college community, we are moving forward. Dr. Rodriguez brings a lot of experience in economic development, and building community and business partnerships. He’s had extraordinary success at the institutions he has been at in the past, and he identifies with the culture. Part of Dr. Rodriguez’s vision is to make TSC the community college in the Valley. We’re growing fast and we need a dynamic leader with lots of energy that understands economic development and how the college impacts the whole community.”
Dr. Rodriguez is currently dean for the Business Center of Excellence at Houston Community College. Previously, he was a dean at Lone Star College System and Butler Community College, where he strengthened programs, student engagement and community partnerships. Prior to higher education, Dr. Rodriguez served as an executive director for an economic development organization and a maquiladora association.
“We believe Dr. Rodriguez is the right choice to be TSC’s new president because he understands the college’s mission, the needs of our communities and the direction in which we are moving toward,” TSC Interim President Mike Shannon said. “In addition to his impressive academic credentials, he possesses the characteristics we were searching for in a college president. Dr. Rodriguez’s innovative and collaborative leadership style are a perfect fit for TSC. He will provide the leadership the college needs for continued enrollment growth through dual enrollment and increased academic and technical programs, while meeting the demands of local business, industry, workforce training and the communities that we serve.”
A national search for a new president began earlier this year. The search yielded 30 applications that were narrowed down to 12 top candidates by TSC presidential search consultant Dr. Byron McClenney.
A search committee comprised of three trustees, two college employees and two community members further reduced the selection pool to eight semifinalists. The committee conducted interviews with all eight semifinalists and narrowed the pool to four finalists. In mid-July, each finalist visited TSC and participated in an open forum as part of the final interview process.
About Texas Southmost College
Originally established in 1926, Texas Southmost College currently offers the first two years toward a bachelor’s degree, along with career and technical education leading to certificates and associate degrees, college preparatory studies to prepare students for college-level work, workforce training, and continuing education. Recently selected as a Bright Spot by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, TSC offers over 50 programs of study leading to an associate degree or certificate.