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Miami Dade College Board Of Trustees Sued Over Presidential Selection Process

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - There's a new wrinkle in the search for the next president of Miami Dade College.

Last week, the Board of Trustees called off a vote after things got heated. Now a lawsuit has been filed.

"Why would seven professors who are usually doing research, writing, grading, and teaching be in the position to have to sue for the first time in the history, since 1960 the Board of Trustees, and the answer is clear, ask them," said attorney Mark Richard.

Mark Richard, a retired Miami Dade College professor, is representing a group of MDC professors including three from a now-disbanded presidential search committee. They announced Wednesday morning they had filed a lawsuit against the District Board of Trustees for Miami Dade College.

The teachers are upset over how they say the Board handled the process to pick a new president for the college who will replace outgoing and widely revered MDC President Eduardo Padron.

Outraged faculty argued that a lengthy months-long established process to select the new head of the institution was scuttled. A 17 member presidential selection committee had worked countless hours to ultimately submit four qualified applicants to the Board. But, in an about-face, the Board disbanded the committee and eliminated all the candidates except one, current Provost Lenore Rodicio, in favor of starting anew.

"They took the entire process and threw it out, we wanna know what happened here," said Richard.

Richard says the Board violated the Florida Constitution which established the due process. Their suit aims to force the Board to return to the original selection process with the four candidates already put forward.

"This lawsuit alleges and seeks judicial relief because we now need the courts to step in and bring justice to what has happened to our community," said Richard.

CBS4 News reached out to Miami Dade College about the lawsuit, Juan Mendieta Director of Communications for Miami Dade College told us, "Regarding today's announcement, the faculty and it's union are free to do as they wish on these matters."

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