By Mackenzie Clark
A subcommittee of the Board of Trustees selected representatives from various areas of the college to form an official presidential search committee charged with selecting the next president. Chair Melody Rayl announced the members of this committee at the Jan. 17 Board meeting.
Dennis Day, executive vice president, Student Success and Engagement, was selected as one representative of the administration.
“I have every confidence in everybody that’s in the committee that they will do an excellent job of representing their constituencies,” he said.
Deborah Williams, president of the Faculty Association, originally suggested David Krug, associate professor, Accounting, to serve as the sole faculty representative on the search committee. She said some faculty members raised concerns about having only one representative.
“I had some discussions with Trustee Rayl and others and they were receptive to the idea of having another faculty member serve on the committee,” Williams said.
Williams will serve as the second faculty representative. Bruna Iacuzzi, president of Student Senate, will represent students on the committee.
“Students that I’ve talked to have said they would like a president who is actively involved in the student body,” Iacuzzi said.
For example, she said, students told her they would like to see a president attending club bake sales or athletic events. Another concern students shared with her was promotion of diversity. She plans to offer an online survey to get additional feedback.
“If students communicate with me I can report what they think,” Iacuzzi said.
One concern Williams said she has heard from faculty members is the time of change at the college, with the retirement of several administrators.
“Knowing the relationships that we’ve had with these existing players – to have a new slate is of concern, or of interest, at least, to faculty,” she said.
Day is not as concerned and said he feels the transition will be fairly smooth and efficient.
“We’ve got some very senior executive management in place,” he said. “We’ve got a president who’s not going anywhere. He’s still around. We’re into a search process while the president is still here. […] We are in a very, very good position in many ways.”
At their December meeting, the trustees voted to approve a proposal from the search firm Gold Hill Associates in an amount not to exceed $40,000. Preston Pulliams, manager of the firm, led the search committee through their first meeting to plan a tentative timeline for the search process on Jan. 16 (see the information box along with this article).
Once candidates are narrowed to finalists, the search committee will “absolutely” seek comments from the community at large, Day said. If all goes as planned, the final decision will be made before the spring semester ends.
“Our most important piece is to get to some very good finalist candidates and to assure that the campus community and the community at large have exposure to those finalists,” he said, “because ultimately that’s where the real input comes from.”
Contact Mackenzie Clark, editor-in-chief, at firstname.lastname@example.org.