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Chancellor Search Committee Formed

Chancellor Search Committee Formed

By Jonathan Bym, EditorChancellor Story

UNC system President Tom Ross addressed the newly formed chancellor search committee inside the UC Annex on Nov. 25 and imparted to them how he thinks the search should run and what to look for in a candidate.

“Finding the right leader for this university is the utmost importance,” Ross said.

The committee was announced at the UNCP Board of Trustees meeting on Nov. 21 after being selected by Chairman Dr. Wiley Barrett and other trustees.

After its first meeting on Nov. 25, the committee announced the campus community would have a chance to voice their opinions of what they want to see in the next chancellor before students go home for the winter break. A faculty and staff forum will be on Dec. 4 at 10 a.m. in the UC Lounge; the student forum will be on Dec. 4 at 1:30 p.m. in the UC Lounge; community and alumni forum will be Dec. 8 at 5:30 p.m. in the UC Annex, another faculty and staff forum will be on Dec. 9 at 10 a.m.; and an all constituencies forum will be on Dec. 9 at 1:30 p.m. in the UC Annex.

The committee of 19 people breaks down to six Board of Trustees members, five faculty representatives, three external representatives, two staff representatives and one representative each from the students, alumni and the UNCP foundation.

During the last chancellor search five years ago,  17 were on the committee.

The trustees selected are Dr. Barrett, Kellie Blue, Dr. Jim Jones, Don Metzger, Dr. Dwight Pearson and Lorna Ricotta. Faculty representatives are Dr. Ben Bahr, Dr. Valjeaner Ford, Dr. Angela McDonald, Dr. Xinyan Shi and Dr. Richard Vela. External representatives are Mac Campbell, Arlinda Locklear and Aaron Thomas. Staff representatives are Terry Locklear and Dr. Lisa Schaeffer.

Student representative is SGA president Biruk Kissaw. Alumni representative is Larry Chavis, and UNCP foundation representative is Darrell Johnson.

Dr. Barrett said this was “one of the toughest decisions he’s had to make” and that he is very proud the committee reflects the diverse background of the university with five different ethnicities represented.

The next full board meeting will be held Jan. 13 at 9:30 a.m.

Ross has selected Ann Lemmon, secretary of the UNC system, to be the liaison for the search. Lemmon has been with the system for over 10 years and has been a part of over 20 searches.

During the trustees meeting on Nov. 21, Lemmon went over the timetable for the search process as well as how to conduct the search.

The usual time frame for the search includes open forums in December and January, invite applications and nominations in January and February, cut down the number of candidates to 8-12 in February, interview the candidates and cut down to 4-6 applicants in March, interview the semifinalists and select three to be sent to Ross in April for him to interview and have a new chancellor named by May.

The committee will also work alongside Academic Search, Inc., search firm after selecting the firm in its first meeting on Nov. 25.

Lemmon brought offers from Academic Search, Coleman Lew and Associates, Diversified Search, Holland Group and Weheless Partners to the trustees before Dr. Barrett asked University Attorney Joshua Malcolm to pick his top three choices. Malcolm referred Academic Search Inc., Coleman Lew and Weheless Partners.

UNCP has connections with Coleman Lew with Athletic Director Dick Christy, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs John Jones and Vice Chancellor for Finance Richard Cosentino having been hired with the firm. Weheless Partners was the firm North Alabama used to recruit Provost  Ken Kitts for its presidency.

The main purpose of the firm is recruit and screen candidates, coordinate interviews and run background checks.

The committee also chose to have a closed search. During the committee’s meeting, all the members signed confidentiality agreements. This type of search is prefered by the UNC system, according to Lemmon.