The search for Dr. Robert Vartabedian’s successor is still on the move as the Presidential Search Committee and the AGB Search Firm have started to narrow down applicants.
The firm came to campus on Jan. 14 to speak at a closed meeting with the search committee. During the meeting, the firm and the committee went through approximately 70 applicants and narrowed it down to the top 15. The references for the final 15 are being checked for the time being by a subcommittee within the main committee. After the references come back, the applicants will attend an off-campus interview with another subcommittee. Once the committee has it down to the final three, the applicants will visit the university. After their visit, the committee will present the top three to the Board of Governors to make the final vote.
Chair of the Board of Governors David Liechti is leading the committee and feels as though
the process has went “really smooth,” Liechti said. “I’m encouraged with the search firm. We have an excellent pool of candidates. Some of these people we actually know and were encouraged to apply for the job. So, we are extremely pleased with the pool that we have.”
The AGB Search Firm visited the university back in 2018 and held forums open to the public where students, faculty members and St. Joseph citizens could come in and give suggestions on what to look for when hiring the next president. The firm sent Gary Owens and Kimberly Templeton to gather information, and the pair have continued to work with the committee.
Templeton said that the process is a long one, but she’s confident that the firm and the committee will find the best possible candidate.
“We’re still listening,” Templeton said. “We have a better sense now of what the search committee is looking for now. We’re not here to hire the next president, we’re here to help find the best possible candidate to present to the Board of Governors, and I think we’re making great progress so far.”
The Presidential Search Committee is made up of a combination of students, faculty, administrators, staff, community members and Board of Governors members. The committee has been meeting since early October.
“I feel really good about the group,” Liechti said. “We’ve come to some great conclusions. We have a good number of applicants, and everything just feels right so far.”
The Presidential Search Committee has not announced when the next meeting will be, but the meeting planned to be open to the public for the time being.