No search yet for new ‘Boro president

Category:  News
Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 at 5:26 PM

Six months after former Edinboro University president Dr. H. Fred Walker stepped down, the university is still without permanent leadership. And according to Angela Burrows, assistant vice president for marketing and communications at EU, “there is nothing new to report on the status of the presidential search at this time, but we should be prepared to provide an update in the not-too-distant future.” 

Kenn Marshall, media relations manager of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), said of a future search: “Once the search begins, it usually is about a six-month process from start to finish. The goal usually is to have a new president start at the beginning of the academic year.” 

This does not always work out, said Marshall, especially in a situation such as the one PASSHE is in now, where more than one university (both EU and Mansfield University) are without a president. 

Once the process begins, the search is relatively straight forward, Marshall explained, as they “pretty much follow the same pattern.”

First, it is in the hands of the Council of Trustees chair from the university in question to appoint a search committee. The committee includes staff, faculty, trustees, alumni and at least one student. This group is responsible for the first round of interview for eligible applicants. When the field of candidates is narrowed to just a few, they are invited to the university campus for open forums. 

Following the forums, Marshall said: “The committee then recommends two candidates to the Council. The Council can approve them or choose from among the others and then submits two names to the Board of Governors (BOG).” 

The BOG then conducts the final interviews and ultimately chooses the new president of said university. 

Though a time-consuming endeavor that many variables play into, those connected to Edinboro should not be worried about the university’s empty presidency, Burrows said, continuing, “It is not unusual for an interim to be in place for a year.”

While neither a committee has been formed or a search has been undertaken as of now, it can be noted that “the cost of our most recent searches [have] ranged from about $125,000 to $150,000,” Marshall said. 

When the search is underway, the committee will then be

looking both internally and externally for a presidential candidate. “The search will be open to all qualified applicants,” Burrows said.

As the committee looks for presidential candidates, Interim President Michael Hannan is not eligible. This restriction is found in Policy 1983-13-A: Process for Recommending Presidential Appointment, by the PASSHE Board of Governors. 

“Acting or Interim President” of the search procedure clearly states: “The acting or interim university president shall not be eligible for the position.”

Angela Burrows said, while not eligible for full presidency himself, Hannan “plans to remain as interim president until a new president is hired.”

Hannah McDonald can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com

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