Charles Mitchell, president of Seattle Central Community College, is among three finalists for the job of chancellor of the Seattle Community College District.
The other finalists are Charles Kane, superintendent and president of Riverside Community College in California, and Narcisa Polonio, president and public-administration professor at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City, N.J.
The district, comprising Seattle Central, North Seattle and South Seattle community colleges, has 24,000 students and 1,600 employees.
Mitchell has been with Seattle Central since 1981. Before becoming president in 1987, he was a teacher and dean of students. He also has taught at Seattle University and Brigham Young University. He was a star football player at the University of Washington and played professionally for the Denver Broncos from 1963 to 1968.
Mitchell was named one of Seattle U's 100 Outstanding Alumni and given an Outstanding Leadership Award from the National Council on Black American Affairs.
Kane has been president at Riverside since 1978 and has taught doctoral-level education courses at the University of Southern California for the past two years. He has been president and dean of students at Long Beach City College in California and has taught there and in California high schools.
Last year Kane was selected one of the country's best college administrators by the University of Texas.
Polonio was New Jersey's director for community colleges for five years, while she was on the faculty of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
The chancellor's job was left open last summer when Thomas Gonzales left to take a job in Colorado. The district is headed in the meantime by an interim chancellor, Otto Roemmich.
The finalists will visit each of the campuses next week. The district board of trustees is scheduled to announce the new chancellor Dec. 17.