The Council of Trustees began its initial stages of building a committee for the search of the future West Chester University President.According to a Presidential Search Update, written by Darlene Laverty on Aug. 23, 2007, staff assistant of the presidential search committee, on June 19, 2007 a trustee group was formed in order to “consider a number of executive search firms.”
The presidential search committee will be advised under the consultation of R.H. Perry and Associates.
Furthermore, the presidential search committee chairperson is Bernard Carrozza, Ed.D, who actually served as the vice-president of the same committee who selected Madeleine Wing Adler.
The Council of Trustees has “specific and limited duties,” according to Carrozza. They approve the university’s annual budget in addition to approving institution policies. Monthly public meetings are held as well to ensure the effective university business. The Council is not the supervisor to the president; however, the council is present be a “supportive role” in the university’s endeavors.
“It is our responsibility to make sure the university is running smoothly,” Carrozza said.
The policy, entitled Act 188 and formed in 1982, serves as the legislation which directs the Pennsylvania State School System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and legislates the policies of the Board of Governors (consisting of 20 members). It is the Council’s responsibility to help initiate a search if a new university president is needed. The Council, which is under the jurisdiction of the Board of Governors, will have three representatives on the search committee. These three members are Carrozza, Tom Fillipio and Cathie Whitlock. They have had their names recommended to Chancellor of the Board of Governors Judy Hample according to the update.
Typically, nine to 10 people will serve on the committee, and these names are selected from recommendations from constituency groups with whom the Council corresponded. These positions include an “executive, non-instructional and alumni positions,” according to the update
To complete the process of filling the remaining seats, Carrozza said that there are factors to be considered in order to have a “very open-minded group.” One alumnus will be selected in addition to two faculty members.
Once the constituent groups have made their recommendations and the names have been approved, the committee can select up to three additional names, according to Carrozza, to guarantee a “fair representation” of gender, race, age and background.
One student can serve on the committee and the Student Government Association (SGA) can submit this name no later than Monday, Sept. 17, according to the update.
Carrozza said that what will provide success to the committee is a “high level of confidentiality.” Otherwise, he said, it can “destroy the integrity” of the process.
“It’s important for the committee to develop a high level of trust,” Carrozza said.
The update stated that on Wednesday, Sept. 26, the committee will meet to discuss search dates, desired presidential characteristics and guidelines. Then, Oct. 2-3 will serve as days for the consultant to confirm the expectations. Then, on Oct. 10 they will confirm the actual desired profile for the prospective president.
The consultant, R.H. Perry will visit the campus to examine the direction the university should take and additionally approve the profile. In essence, the consultant has to learn about the committee and about the university to make an official profile.
Once this takes place, the search will commence. Following, interviews occur. Carrozza said that there are two types of interviews: airport and campus interviews.
An airport interview takes place during the time in which the selections have been narrowed down to nine to 10 prospects. It consists of the candidate flying to West Chester, having an interview, and then leaving directly afterward. Once the committee has narrowed its search to five to six candidates, a campus interview will take place which allows the prospective candidate to see the university.
Throughout this process, the committee will not have to travel. However, a budget for the search is set that is shared by the State System and the University.
“I believe we’re going to have a large selection of candidates,” Carrozza said.
Carrozza also said that WCU has a national reputation that is “attractive to administrators.”
Another aspect of the search is the necessity of communication. Carrozza said that in the near future a web site will be created to “keep our entire university family informed.”
“Dr. Adler has made a significant contribution to WCU in so many ways,” Carrozza said. Therefore, the committee will have to find a replacement that “will maintain what she (Adler) has built and project forward.”
The update says that there will be more releases periodically.
Lastly, Carrozza said, “It is an honor.and a large responsibility knowing that you will be selecting the next leader.”
Nicole Fortuna is a second-year Honors College student majoring in Literature with a minor in Linguistics. She can be reached at NF626790@wcupa.edu.