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UA not alone in search for next campus leader


Photo
Matt Robles/Arizona Daily Wildcat
From left: Student Regent Ben Graff, Regent Fred Boice and ASUA President Cade Bernsen answer questions regarding the search for a new UA president at a forum for undergraduates Oct. 19 in Gallagher Theater.
By Nicole Santa Cruz
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
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Several universities are looking for new presidents, but the Presidential Search Committee is not worried about competition influencing its recruitment, officials said.

The University of Texas, the University of California, Los Angeles, and Cornell University are some of the institutions that also have vacant presidential positions, said Fred Boice, chairman of the committee.

But the president position at the UA is more appealing, Boice said, because the UA president works closely with the Arizona Board of Regents and does not have to answer to a chancellor or another president like at UCLA or UT.

So far the search committee has a pool of more than 50 people who are interested in the job and have sent biographical information, Boice said, and there are about 50 more who are still working on that part of the process.

Out of the candidates so far, the consultation group made a concerted effort to recruit women and minorities, Boice said.

"There are good (candidates), qualified women and minorities. Not just numbers," Boice said.

In the coming months before the Arizona Board of Regents meeting in March, which is when the new UA president will be appointed, the committee will be narrowing down the candidate list until there are about three or four choices, Boice said.

The names on the list will not be released to the public until

candidates get to a finalist standing to protect any jobs potential candidates hold, Boice said.

"We don't want to be fast; we want to be right," Boice said.

When candidates get to a finalist position they will then come to the campus to be interviewed by the search committee, regents and students, Boice said.

The regents will select the final candidates, although the board of regents cannot appoint a candidate without going through the search committee first.

"Our process is probably a little slower than others, but we're just trying to be sure," Boice said.

There will be various interviews before the March meeting, which the public will be welcome to attend, Boice said.

Ben Graff, UA student regent and member of the search committee, said the regents have always been hands-on when it comes to selecting the president for Arizona schools.

But the board has also firmed up in terms of rules and regulations for releasing names of candidates, sparked from the appointment of Arizona State University President Michael Crowe in 2002, Graff said.

When candidates for the ASU presidency were told their names would be released to the public, all candidates except Crowe pulled out of the race because many probably feared they would lose the jobs they were holding, Graff said.

To avoid having only one candidate, secrecy has been deemed as having the utmost of importance, he said.

"It's everyone's intention and hope on the board of regents that we will have more than one public candidate in the end," Graff said.



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