Search for new president continues to progress

By Brad Barber

The search for the next university president is closer to a resolution. Administrators, the board of trustees and Carter-Baldwin Executive Search have reviewed the initial applications and narrowed the field.

Kelly Savage, chair of the board of trustees, released a campus-wide email Feb. 11, which detailed the status of the search. She said that Carter-Baldwin’s consultant on the search, Price Harding, identified 28 interested candidates and provided the curriculum vitae of each to the presidential advisory task force.

“The task force met on Jan. 23, to discuss the qualifications of each candidate and identified nine individuals that Mr. Harding is personally interviewing,” Savage said in the email. “The task force will meet again on Feb. 21 to select the top three to five candidates.”

Savage also said that if everything goes as planned, there would be in-person interviews with the final candidates during the first week of March. Del Doughty, interim senior vice president for academic affairs and a member of the task force, said that the interviews would likely take place in Indianapolis.

Doughty said that of the individuals who have moved on in the process, there are some who were unanimously agreed upon as a fit, and some who they want to learn more about through the interview process.

Most of the candidates are coming from other Christian institutions because the task force values their previous work within the Christian higher-education industry, he said.

“I think we all feel more comfortable with someone [who is] a little more familiar with the landscape and knows what we are about,” Doughty said. “But there are a few industry outsiders who we would respect and would probably like their fresh perspective on things.”

Doughty said the plan is to have the decision on the next president by the next board of trustees meeting, April 25-26, so he or she can start the job at the beginning of summer.

Doughty has already announced that he has accepted the invitation to continue as the interim dean of faculty until May 31, 2014. However, there are two other senior vice president positions that remain to be filled for the upcoming school year.

The senior vice president of university relations and the senior vice president for business and finance are currently unoccupied or served on an interim basis. John Paff resigned from the university relations position Jan. 28, but it has not been announced if the university will seek to replace him. Julie Hendryx, interim vice president for business and finance, agreed to work the position on an interim basis until May 31, 2013. She did not respond to a request for comment on possibly filling the position permanently or extending her time as interim vice president.

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