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The search committee that will help select ASU’s next chancellor met for the first time Tuesday. Photo by Anna Oakes

Originally published: 2013-08-27 18:25:29
Last modified: 2013-08-27 18:26:13

Chancellor search committee begins work

by Anna Oakes

The committee charged with selecting Appalachian State University's next chancellor met in full for the first time Tuesday.

Committee members received advice and guidance on choosing a new leader from ASU and University of North Carolina administrators and also began the process of selecting a consultant to aid in the search process.

Chancellor Ken Peacock announced his impending resignation this spring, but will remain at his post until a new chancellor is selected.

ASU on Aug. 20 announced the full membership of the search committee, which includes current and former ASU trustees, faculty members, and representatives of staff, fundraisers, alumni, athletics and staff.

UNC system President Tom Ross and Ann Lemmon, UNC system associate vice president for human resources, outlined the search process with committee members and reminded them of the importance of keeping candidates' identities confidential.

"Your best candidates will not be looking for a job -- they will be happy where they are," Lemmon said. "They're not going to enter into this search lightly."

Ross and Lemmon strongly urged the committee to conduct a fully closed search, meaning no candidates would be disclosed to the public except the one who is chosen and accepts the job. This would be a departure from ASU's last chancellor search in 2003-04, an "open search" in which when the committee announced its semifinalists.

"This institution, at this time, is going to attract a lot of very, very strong people," Ross said. "If it is made public, I will tell you, you will lose some of those people."

Lemmon said that the initial meetings of the search committee could be open to the public, but that review of specific candidates must be conducted in closed session.

ASU administrators shared the characteristics they felt would be important in ASU's next leader.

Loren Baumhover, the chancellor's chief of staff, emphasized the need for candidates with "an established career trajectory" in academics, noting that leaders from the corporate world, military or other fields may not have the necessary understanding of the higher education atmosphere.

"It is a different culture," he said.

Ross did not place the same emphasis on candidates' academic backgrounds.

"I don't know that it's critical that someone has to follow an academic path," he said.

A subcommittee of the group will interview potential search firms between Sept. 6 and 12, with selection of the firm by the full committee tentatively scheduled for Sept. 19.

The search, including the firm's fee, could cost ASU approximately $120,000, which can be funded through a combination of state and trust monies, ASU Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs Greg Lovins said.

If the search consultant is in place in time, a public input forum could be held in late September.