Presidential search continues

A 16-member search committee met on Sept. 5 to discuss potential Geneseo presidential candidates, jumpstarting a search process that will take place over the next four months. The search committee consists of College Council members, Geneseo-elected faculty and various other representatives. The committee will spend the next few weeks reviewing anywhere from 25 to 40 recommended candidates. They will ultimately select between eight and 12 candidates for final interviews.

The search process began in June, combining the work of consultants from executive search firm Isaacson Miller as well as members of the State University of New York Presidential Search Committee and Geneseo community. The Isaacson Miller representatives spent the summer recruiting about 25 potential candidates for the presidential seat and expect to recruit a total of 40 to 50 by Oct. 14.

“Anyone who has a name should make that information known to the search committee,” chair of the search committee Bob Wayland-Smith said. “Absolutely anyone is allowed to make a recommendation and we are still open to them.”

After the search committee has decided which eight to 12 people have the most presidential potential, a series of off-campus interviews will commence. The search committee will conduct the interviews alongside the Isaacson Miller representatives on Oct. 14. These interviews will then slim down the pool to only five semi-finalists who will then undergo on-campus interviews after the SUNY Chancellor’s approval.

“We hope to have three unranked, yet fully acceptable candidates for our final selection by the end of Dec. 2014,” Wayland-Smith said. Voting will take place by all but two members of the search committee, including student representative and Student Association President senior Harrison Dole. Only Chancellor Liaison David Lavallee and College Staff Liaison Becky Glass will withhold from the voting process.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and her staff will then interview three final candidates and decide who is most qualified for the position. According to Wayland-Smith, both the search committee and Zimpher hope to have a new president selected by next June and in office by July 2015.

“I believe we need a president who understands both a small liberal arts campus and a public school environment,” Dole said. “It is rare to find a combination of both.”

Dole also expressed his desire to recruit a president who can connect with students on a personal level, hoping to find someone who would be willing to step out from behind the desk and truly interact with the young adults on campus.

“I encourage students to give their input towards helping find the right president for this college,” he said. “I am not the sole voice in this process. As a student on the search committee, I would like to represent the whole campus.”

Although the next few weeks will be comprised only of recruitment for the pool of overall potential candidates, October will bring the search to a narrow race between finalists. No final information will be made public, however, until this upcoming June.