Search for new university president in early stages, developing search committee

Published by adviser, Author: Daniel DiFabio - News Editor , Date: January 26, 2017
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The search for a new university president is currently underway, with the state system and university still in the process of selecting members for the search committee.

Current president Cheryl Norton announced that she was leaving the university after the spring 2017 semester at a council of trustees meeting last fall.

Kenn Marshall, spokesperson for the state system, said the search for new university presidents in the state system typically takes four to six months.

SRU is not the only university which will be conducting a search for a new president, with Shippensburg and Bloomsburg also looking for a permanent president.

“Slippery Rock is still in the process of appointing its search committee so their search really hasn’t gotten started yet,” Marshall said. “It can take less than six months, but generally six months is a pretty good time frame to go by for a presidential search.”

The first step in choosing a new president is appointing the search committee. Marshall said the time frame will be tight if the university and state system want to get a new president in place by July.

“The longer it takes to get the actual search started, the more difficult it will be to actually have it completed in the time period,” Marshall said. “It certainly still can be done.”

The members of the search committee are appointed by the council of trustees. The committee is made up of representations from the campus community, including faculty, students, alumni and university staff. The committee and the university then do most of the early work in the process, including preliminary interviews with potential candidates.

Marshall said the committee will also work with a liaison from the chancellor’s office and an executive search firm. The search firm is helpful to help the committee find potential candidates, gauging their interest and finding other people to apply for the position.

Once the initial section pool is made, the committee searches the candidates’ resumes and does phone interviews, ultimately narrowing down the choices to about 10 to 15, Marshall said.

The selection is narrowed down more, with candidates then coming to campus, where open forums are held with different campus groups, letting the community meet the candidates.

After the interviews, the search committee will recommend two candidates to the council of trustees, who then will approve or deny the candidates, after which the name of the candidates are sent to the chancellor and the board of governors to interview, where the final selection is made.

“We’ll work as hard as we can with each of the universities to make sure they get the right fit for their campus,” Marshall said.

Further updates as the search continues can be found on the SRU website.

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