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The Boston Globe

Opinion

Lawrence Harmon

Degrees of disappointment

BUNKER HILL Community College president Mary Fifield, who is retiring in June, engineered impressive enrollment gains and innovations such as midnight classes at the Charlestown campus. She’s a star. Across town at Roxbury Community College, former president Terrence Gomes stumbled around before resigning last year amid charges of sloppy distribution of financial aid and underreporting of campus crime. He’s a washout. But both presidents have something significant in common: low graduation rates.

Searches are underway at both campuses for new presidents. But the lack of buzz in Boston about the effort is surprising, especially given the Obama administration’s recent focus on community colleges as gateways to the middle class. Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino should be standing on their heads trying to attract first-rate candidates to these posts.

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