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Originally published: 2013-10-28 10:52:27
Last modified: 2013-10-28 12:52:31

Closed search sends wrong message

The Appalachian State University Chancellor Search Committee has voted to conduct a secret search for our new chancellor. The new chancellor will be selected by secret criteria, chosen in secret from a secret list, and imposed on the campus by University of North Carolina President Ross after the search concludes. This process creates an air of illegitimacy for a chancellor's beginning. This secret process disconnects the campus and Boone, and begins a new administration in a climate of distrust.

This unfortunate decision clearly indicates that the words of search committee member trustee Brenda Wright, "[T]hree words that I think will be very helpful in guiding our process -- transparency, engagement and inclusiveness" are just that, merely empty words. Simply holding several forums to discuss the traits desired in a chancellor is neither engaging nor inclusive; secrecy is the antithesis of transparency. In choosing a secret search at the urging of Ross, the search committee has traded the very real participation of Appalachian's students, faculty, and staff, and the Boone community for a theoretical increase in the candidate pool, a theoretical increase not supported by data from other searches.

Searching in secret for the critical position of chancellor is the most definitive statement that the greater campus community is of no consequence in determining the direction and life of Appalachian. Resolutions from both the faculty senate and the council of chairs asking that only the final three candidates be brought to campus have been dismissed. Apparently, our input into who is to be the next chancellor of Appalachian is not sought, is not wanted and is unwelcome.

Wm C Bauldry, professor, ASU