By Zach Colick
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, October 3, 2005
FLAGSTAFF - Regents approved guidelines for the UA presidential search committee Friday, spelling out how committee members must conduct themselves when seeking out prospects and interviewing for the position.
The proposed guidelines, similar to ones used in previous search committees to elect Arizona State University President Michael Crow, outline the responsibilities of the search committee, describe the process of how they must assess the qualifications of the prospects and how the committee's work will comply with both the Open Meeting Law and Public Records Law, according to the issue's executive summary.
The UA search committee comprises 31 faculty, alumni, student, community members and six regents who will make the ultimate decision about who will take over as the new UA president next fall, said Regent President Christina Palacios.
To keep the process as secretive as possible to ensure the candidates' privacy, the committee will provide non-personally identifiable information about the prospects, including age, gender, race, ethnicity, current or prior positions held, educational background and geographic diversity, Palacios said.
That information shall be compiled and made available little by little to the public on a periodic basis throughout the search process, Palacios said.
The guidelines allow committee members to keep in contact with promising prospects via telephone, written correspondence or in-person visitation to encourage their participation in the search process, said UA President Peter Likins.
This type of contact, although typically unusual for most professions, is permitted because almost all of the prospects are nominated without their consent and many wish to keep their identities private so they don't jeopardize their current employment, Likins said.
"It's a very unusually passive process," Crow said.
Following its preliminary assessment of the prospects, the committee will identify those who most nearly match the regent-approved criteria and begin preliminary interviews, according to the executive summary.
Information about what criteria committee members want candidates to meet could not be released because those details have yet to be finalized, but special efforts will be made to identify and recruit qualified women and minorities into the prospect pool, Palacios said.
Prospects requested for interviews with the committee will be advised that their participation requires public disclosure of their identity and resume in accordance with Arizona Public Records Law, regardless if the committee recommends their candidacy or if the candidate allows their name to go forward, according to the executive summary.
The interview process will include an in-person meeting between each candidate and the search committee for the purpose of discovering which candidate is deemed most qualified.
Following these interviews, the committee will forward to the regents an unranked list of no more than five candidates, whose qualifications, skills and personal characteristics most nearly match the approved criteria, according to the executive summary.
The regents will then review the final list of candidates forwarded by the search committee and assess the relative qualifications of each candidate through personal interviews or reviewing candidate files and the assessments provided by the committee.
Prior to reaching an ultimate decision, the regents will provide an opportunity for the final candidates to participate in meetings with representatives of university constituencies, according to the executive summary.
"We hope to gather as much input from as many individuals as possible in order to serve the needs of the UA," said Regent Fred Boice, committee chairman.
All costs associated with the search process and the sources of funding are publicly disclosed.