Two Hispanic and four African American people, including McLaughlin, were among 80 applicants on an original list. The search committee selected five finalists, none of whom was black. Two African Americans were added to the final list later.
Barringer said the black candidates had been added to diversify the selection pool. "The board was genuinely concerned that they needed a broader group of people," he said. "I think the board acted in good faith."
But members of a predominantly black alumni group said at a meeting last night with Barringer that their mentor and teacher - McLaughlin - had been overlooked.
"It seems as though they had already made up their minds, and then they added two blacks to keep our mouths shut," said Doris Monroe, a 1971 graduate. "We believe the whole process was unfair."
McLaughlin did not attend the meeting.
The black candidates are Cynthia Pace, president of State Community College in East St. Louis, Ill., and Preston Pulliams, vice president of student affairs at the Community College of Philadelphia. The other woman under consideration is Phyllis Della Vecchia, vice president for academic affairs at the Community College of Philadelphia.
Other finalists are: Dan Kinney, president of Coffeyville Community College in Kansas; Michael Murphy, president of St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley in Missouri; Raymond Pietak, president of Joliet Junior
College, Illinois, and G. Jeremiah Ryan, vice president of Harford Community
The 14-member search committee has four black members.
Barringer said the board of trustees was unlikely to reopen the search. Final selection will be made in early July, Barringer said.