Fourth in a series
Re “Learning How to Interview the Right Way”
When we left the first-year president of West Los Angeles College a month ago, he was candidly talking about the first time he interviewed, disastrously, to be the chief executive of a college.
“I should have known the campus better,” said Dr. James Limbaugh, whose story did not pack a surprise ending.
The soft-spoken Texan acknowledged his vulnerability a few years ago,
“I should have done better research on some of the controversies surrounding the campus. I did not know until after I left there was an issue with the athletic director that had taken on a regional significance. It was all over, up and down the state.
“I figured all of this out. And so on my third interview I got a presidency.”
Dr. Limbaugh was named to the chancellorship at Montana State University Northern, and he served as CEO for nearly three years on his circuitous path to West L.A.
He started to trace his steps in chronological order before checking himself.
Commandment No. 1, he quickly learned, is to understand the political complexities of your workplace.
“After Northern,” said Dr. Limbaugh, “I stopped…
“If you did a Google search on me, you will find I left Northern because I fired the football coach – and the community went nuts.”
With good reason, he was and is convinced, he made the right move.
“I do not regret the firing,” Dr. Limbaugh said. “At the time it was very difficult, hard professionally.”
At the core of the Montana State uproar, “the football coach stole almost $3,000 in state money and put it in a private checking account, and I held him accountable.
“I told him, ‘You either quit or I will fire you.’”
Dr. Limbaugh said he was the “subject of a smear campaign” in the hometown newspaper. “They said I had to bring the football coach back.”
An interesting curl to the story is that “he is the son-in-law of the winningest football coach in Montana history. There is a statue of his father-in-law in Helena.”
Hysterical fans charged Dr. Limbaugh with smearing “the name of this sacred family.”
(To be continued)