There is a possibility that the Rochester school board will revise Interim Superintendent Bolgen Vargas’s contract.
Vargas was hired in May at an annual salary of $175,000, with the understanding that he would stay until a permanent superintendent is found. But that was when the search was expected to take only three to six months.
But the board now plans to take its time with the search, and the main reason is that at least some board members are impressed with Vargas’s performance so far.
A search firm will be hired soon with the goal of having a permanent person in the job by July 2012, says school board President Malik Evans, and board members are discussing the length of Vargas’s stay.
Changing Vargas’s contract would raise several questions.
If board members have the votes to change the contract, are there also enough votes to make Vargas the permanent superintendent?
Another question: is the board willing to renege on a prior stipulation in order to keep Vargas? Candidates interested in the interim superintendent position, the board originally said, would not be considered for the permanent position. And who didn’t apply for the interim position because of that condition?
It would be interesting to see how parents and community groups react if Vargas is allowed to apply for the permanent job. Since board members have said the public would have an opportunity to meet the candidates, it might appear that a decision was already made.
Vargas’s interim-ship has put him in the superintendent class: a small group of in-demand public school leaders. So he probably wants to know when and whether to start looking for a new job.
Vargas been careful in the way he responds to questions about whether he is interested in the permanent job. Notably, he doesn’t say no.