President search comes close to fruition

While applications are still being accepted, the U is one step closer to welcoming a new leader.

“It’s hard to say, but I’d be pleased to complete it before summer,” said Jim Jardine, member of the state Board of Regents and chairperson of the U’s presidential search committee.

According to Jardine, the committee is still accepting new names but has begun narrowing the list down substantially from about 100 candidates.

“A significant number of quality people were nominated or applied,” he said.

He said they have begun contacting specific individuals to confirm their interest and find out more about them.

The pool of candidates is still large enough that committee members have not yet chosen favorites.

“I’m still hopeful things will wind up in spring, but you never know until you get there. I feel good about the progress we’re making,” he said.

Kermit Hall, president of Utah State University, is familiar with search committees and said, “Typically, by the time a search committee has decided on a field of candidates, the process moves along quickly.”

“Hiring is, in the end, a competitive process, like most activities in life, and that makes the timing of presenting the candidates to the university community particularly critical,” he said.

When the search process gets to selecting finalists, the university itself, with its assets and status, is the position’s greatest selling point, Jardine said.

Salary and benefits for the new president are not decided until negotiations are made with final candidates, he said. The actual decision is made by the state Board of Regents. That process usually moves quickly, Jardine said. Instead of evaluating backgrounds and qualifications, the board only has to decide which finalist is the best match for the U.

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