CUMBERLAND - The large number of faculty and staff reaching the age of retirement has led to increased recruitment measures at Allegany College of Maryland.

"The search process has become much more extensive - it's so much more than just placing an ad," said ACM vice president of instructional affairs and soon-to-be president Bruce Exstrom. "We conduct searches locally, regionally and nationally. We're committed to finding the perfect person for each position."

This year alone, 14 faculty and staff members with a total of 432 years of experience retired, and Exstrom expects the trend to continue.

"The same thing that is happening here is happening at higher education institutions across the county," said Exstrom.

In addition to print ads, ACM places job ads in the Chronicle of Higher of Education as well as a variety of online mediums.

"Allegany College of Maryland has built a reputation based on the personal touch, and most feel that this is just on the student end, but human resources strives to gain that same service to active college employees and to applicants applying for both vacant advertised positions and general interest applicants," said Rhonda Wiles, ACM director of human resources.

Finding outstanding candidates who possess the appropriate credentials to fill the faculty and administrative positions is no easy task, according to Exstrom.

The new vice president of instructional affairs, Heather Perfetti of Georgia, will begin July 1, as will the new vice president of continuing education, Barbara Beebe of Massachusetts. Exstrom will take over the helm as president on the same day, following the retirement of Don Alexander.

Faculty positions require a master's degree in the corresponding area of study, and finding qualified candidates for math, science and technology, and nursing positions is exceptionally difficult, said Exstrom.

When out-of-town applicants begin the interview process at ACM, Exstrom takes them on a tour of the town.

"The area has been a real selling point," said Exstrom. "It's been a community effort."

Contact Jennifer Raley at

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