The search committee that will look for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) met for the first time last Monday and is hoping to have a new chancellor selected by next summer.
According to a PASSHE press release, the board of governors chairwoman Cynthia D. Shapira is chairing the committee conducting the search, and board vice chair Harold C. Shields is co-chair.
The committee will work with Wheless Partners, an executive search consultant firm to help in the process. Kenn Marshall, spokesman for the state system, said Wheless Partners were chosen for their experience in the search process.
“We interviewed several firms and the board decided to go with them, primarily because of their experience and their success in these types of searches,” Marshall said.
Marshall said, if the search is finished by next summer, the chosen candidate would begin to serve during the 2018-19 academic year.
“That’s our hope,” Marshall said. “It’s not likely to take less time than that, and our hope is that we’ll be able to identify a strong pool of candidates, have the interviews and have the person on board for the start of the next academic year.”
Marshall said the past searches have also involved various members of the 14 campus communities, but it’s ultimately up to the search firm to decide how the information is gathered.
“They’ll [the search consultant] be reaching out to various campus constituencies to gather input for the committee,” Marshall said.
The groups would provide what criteria they believe the new chancellor should have and what qualifications they need. The search firm will then use that input to make a formal job description, which will be used in advertising to recruit candidates.
Marshall said the committee is also comprised of other board officers and standing committee chairs, as well as three “at large” individuals; in this case including Ryan Long, West Chester’s SGA president, Laura Delbrugge, Spanish professor at IUP, and Donna Wilson, provost and executive vice president , academic affairs department at Lock Haven.
In the aforementioned press release, Shapira said, “It is vitally important to me that our search process includes the voices of those at our university campuses. We can’t do this without the students, faculty and staff; having them at the table will make a measurable difference.”
Former Clarion University president Karen M. Whitney is currently serving in the role of interim chancellor until the next successor is found.