The Robstown Independent School District's Superintendent Search Committee still does not know what role it will play in the actual search for a new district leader after trustees took no action Monday on approving the committee's guidelines and responsibilities.
At last week's Jan. 26 meeting of the RISD Board of Trustees, trustee Osvaldo Romero presented the board with his proposal on what the guidelines and parameters for the search committee should look like. Among other things, the committee would create a superintendent profile, advertise the vacancy on a statewide basis and select an administrative designee to accept all applications and letters of interest.
How the applications are reviewed will be decided by the Board of Trustees, according to Romero's proposal. The board would also be responsible for conducting reference and background checks of all candidates.
The committee will not be involved in selecting the superintendent, though, district officials have said. That responsibility will remain with the school board.
At the time his proposal was presented, however, trustee Eva Orona objected to its presentation, citing other trustees had not been given a chance to properly gather any proposals of their own.
Romero countered that each trustee was given two weeks to prepare his or her own guidelines for the Jan. 26 meeting, since the search committee was formed Jan. 12. Orona and trustees Adolfo Lopez and Ernesto Gallegos were not present during that vote.
On Monday, the board held a special meeting to discuss and consider for approval the guidelines for the search committee. This time, trustees Pablo Avila, Orona and Romero were the only trustees with proposals ready for presentation.
"It's a good process," Romero said of his proposal. "We just need to let it run its course."
Trustees Adolfo Lopez, Richard Gonzalez and Robert Tapia did not present any proposals of their own, with Lopez refusing to offer any comment during discussion on the item. Trustee Ernesto Gallegos did not attend Monday's meeting.
Avila's proposal kept in line with Romero's guidelines, but he nixed particulars of the plan "sort of like a line item veto," Avila said. Those parts suggested for removal included giving the committee's administrative designee the opportunity to collect all applications and assist in the interview process.
Orona's proposal calls for the district to consider the Executive Search Services of the Texas Association of School Boards, which has a cost of $8,500, or the district could conduct the search on its own.
The search committee would be limited to creating a profile, conducting public forums and surveys, as well as creating questions the district may ask superintendent candidates during the interview process.
"We need to not only set parameters for them…we really need to move in the right direction to seek the superintendent," Orona said. "It's a very high-profile position. It's not a position we want to look at today, like 'We can take care of it.' Personally, I myself don't feel like I am qualified, much less to come up with the guidelines, but more so to do a superintendent search."
Romero, Tapia and Avila all argued Orona and other trustees had shot down a proposal last year to use a search firm, which included an option to use TASB's services.
"I think we're just going in circles. We already brought this up last week, to draw up some guidelines," Avila said. "I thought that was the purpose of this meeting, to put together some guidelines and take action. I mean, we're just going in circles."
"I agree with you," Romero added. "It does seem like that."
The board then tabled the item in a 5-1 vote, with Avila being the lone dissenting vote, pending a review by the district's legal counsel, John Bell, of the proposals made.
The item will be presented again during the board's Feb. 9 regularly scheduled meeting.