The Presidential Search Committee held its first meeting to begin the search of Dr. Robert Vartabedian’s successor on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 5:30 p.m. in the Blum Student Union.
During the meeting, Chair of the Board of Governors David Liechti went over just the basic steps that the committee should expect over the next several months. Sara Freemeyer, human resources director for Missouri Western, and Stephen Briggs, University Attorney, both spoke as well about some of the legal procedures that the committee needed to be aware of. Liechti also announced that the Board of Governors decided on selecting the AGB Firm to help find the next president.
“It’s overwhelming to a degree,” Liechti said. “I don’t proclaim to have grand expertise in recruiting university presidents, so I am humbled by the position, but also accept the challenge. I feel real confident that this committee will select the best candidates for us. The board ultimately makes the decision, but I think this committee is going to do a great job of bringing the right people to that decision.”
A basic timeline was discussed at the meeting. The overall plan is to narrow all applicants down to the final five by January or February and hold interviews with each candidate. The committee then plans to go to the Board of Governors to provide information to the board about each candidate.
“I feel as though I can help the students by being on the committee just by being open minded and working hard,” Student Governor Paul Granberry III said. “I’m not afraid to work hard. I love what I do, and I dedicate a lot of time and effort into it that way students won’t have to worry about the next university president, or “will I like him or her or not?” I just want to bring the ease to the students at the university.”
The committee was originally supposed to be made up of 15 members, but ended up with 23 members. The members on the committee are a combination of students, faculty, administrators, staff, community members and Board of Governors members.
“We wanted to make sure we had proper representation from people that had an interest, that have ownership in this process,” Liechti said. “I was being a little selfish, and I thought 15 would be an easier task to deal with, but I’m fine with what we have. It’s great. We have great representation among faculty, staff, the community, and it’s a very good group.”
“I don’t anticipate any conflicts,” English professor Dr. Mike Cadden said. “We may have to educate each other about our particular needs from this president. Where there may be problems, I’d prefer it be in miscommunicating that, but I don’t think there ought to be, naturally, any conflicts of interests.”
Most meetings will be allowed for the public to attend, but the committee can call a closed session at any time.The next meeting for the committee has not been announced yet, but will be taking place in November.