Dodge City Community College needed a new Chief Financial Officer and after a several months-long search, the best fit for the job was Dr. Glendon Forgey.

The Forgey hiring was met with some controversy due to Forgey previously being employed at Garden City Community College, where there was turmoil that led to president and personnel changes.

For DCCC, the process in finding a new CFO began two months ago when Vada Hermon retired from the position.

"There was a nationwide search for the VP of Administration and Finance CFO," DCCC president Harold Nolte said. "Dr. Forgey was the most qualified person by far for this position. We had a nationwide search and Forgey was one of only a couple who has a doctorate degree.

"He had the most experience in higher education with 17 years experience which included business manager, comptroller, VP of Administration and president of community college."

Nolte added that four candidates applied for the position and two were invited to Dodge City to be vetted by the college and the DCCC hiring committee.

With the recommendation to hire Forgey coming from the hiring committee.

Forgey was then approved by the DCCC board of trustees with a 6-1 vote, with trustee Dan Reichenborn being the lone nay vote.

Forgey, took his CFO position at DCCC on Oct. 1 and one of the first things he needed to start on was balance the school budget.

"We need to cut $1.2 million from our budget," Nolte said. "That was another reason we felt he was right for the position because he has worked with $350 million budgets before and with his experience in preparing budgets and making needed cuts he was the right fit, our budget is $29 million."

Two issues needing fixed along with the budget are faculty qualifications and board overreach, according to Nolte.

"We have made $500,000 in cuts already," Nolte said, "and we are needing to get working on our helicopter program and getting a new provider for that program which is in limbo right now and get scheduling in general in place and we're down in some programs and that is what we got to look at.

"To get our financial ratios where they needed to be, that is why we needed Dr. Forgey brought in.

"When we need a budget reduction, he knows how to do it."

Forgey said, "It's a significant amount that needs cut and having had that experience before I know what I need to do. What is worse is when you are mid-year and you are hit with an additional five percent deduction which has happened to me in the past at different places, but since I know how that needs to be done, if it happens going forward I can be prepared for it."

With states across the nation facing educational budget issues, Forgey says that community colleges seem to get treated more harshly.

The college goal will be to cut where it can as it moves towards the June 30, 2019 conclusion to the 2018-19 school year.

One issue raised with the hiring of Forgey was an issue regarding his administrative leave and departure from Trinity Valley Community College in Texas where Forgey was president from 2008 to 2016.

"The board wanted to give me a raise," Forgey said. "Well we weren't going to give raises to faculty and staff that year and I said no I don't want a raise I'd rather have a three year contract.

"So the board chairman comes out of the closed session and says contract has been approved and the contract was written up, he signed it and the closed-door minutes attesting they had discussed the three year contract.

"Nine months later they said, 'We think the board chairman was confused, it's not what we intended to do.'

"And at that time my dad had got sick with lung cancer and I said that it was best for me to just resign and help them out and had a basis for a good lawsuit but you don't want to be suing a school if you want to come back later."

The board chair from Trinity Valley Community College wrote a letter of recommendation for Forgey which was another reason Nolte said he felt he was the right person for DCCC.

"They said my contract and what was in the closed-door meetings wasn't what was in the open-door meetings," Forgey said. "The terms of president's contracts are never put in open-door meetings so that was the discrepancy yet it is the same thing done every year."

Forgey added that his focus will also be for students.

When looking at the cuts he will try to spare the areas that helps students.

"Students are why we are here," Forgey said. "And we want to make sure they have the services that they need."

Both Forgey and Nolte agreed that with the technology at the college for day-to-day general operations, things need to be upgraded.

A new software program is in the process of being put in place and an update to the IT.

By updating the software, Forgey says he will be able to better handle and look at the budgets, with comparisons to last year and so on.

By bringing in the proper technology and getting up to speed, Forgey says he will be able to make the college run better.

"And not just for my job," he says, "for the college as a whole."

Another qualification Forgey says is he has is he is a CPA amongst his background with higher education and financial services.

Negotiating contracts will also be a part of Forgey's duties such as for faculty, food vendors, drink vendors and the athletics department.

As things move along cuts will be made in small increments, in the lead up to the end of the school year.

"Cuts add up," Forgey said.

Nolte says the college is in a better position to grow now that Forgey is in place.

Bringing in Forgey, Nolte says, it gives the college to ability to work with the budgets in making it more efficient.

"With his financial background, there is nobody better," Nolte said. "Seriously, he will be the best in the state. He knows his business and that's what my job is is to hire the best person out there for everyone of my jobs.

"Is he competent and capable? Yes. Can he do the job? Yes. Was he the best candidate for the job? Yes.

"Those are things you want to look at and say OK, he's probably the most experienced in the whole state."

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com