Photo by Cole Stratton

On Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 10:00am and 3:00pm, the newly formed Presidential Search and Screening Committee held their first public meeting in the Campus Center ballroom.

The members of the committee, including committee chair Dr. Donadrian Rice, met to discuss the characteristics and skills desired from those applying for the presidency of the university.  The meeting was open to the public, and the committee solicited each attendee’s opinion on selection criteria for candidates.

Common characteristics and skills participants viewed as important included a president connected to the community, a cheerleader for the university, a willing listener, an avid fundraiser and a visionary.

“I know the word visionary is thrown out a lot but for me I ask, can that person clearly see opportunities and how has that person in the past been able to seize those opportunities,” said Dr. Salvadore Peralta, committee member and professor of political science.

“We are facing some tremendous challenges and we need someone to ask who are we going to be and how am I going to get us there,” said Jeff Johnson, committee member and chair of the faculty senate.

As the floor opened for discussion, a concern arose regarding UWG’s understanding of its own image and was left somewhat unresolved.

“My view of the university when I came here was they knew they wanted to be something more, but they did not know what they wanted to be,” said Dr. Bill Estes, a representative from University Advancement.  “The question was what we are going to be when we grow up, and I am not sure that position was ever made clear.”

The Board of Regents selected the committee in late September and issued the charge of filling the Presidency of UWG after the retirement of Dr. Beheruz Sethna.  The committee consists of 18 student, faculty, and community members including representatives from numerous departments on campus, SGA, Metro Bank, Carrollton Orthopedic, Ra-Lin Construction and Smith Conerly LLP.

“The idea for selection of the committee members was to represent many different positions on campus and in the community,” said Rice.  “The total number of 18 is actually the same number as the University of Georgia’s Committee, a much larger university.”

As the committee begins the search process, they will take the qualifications and skills set forth in the meetings and create an ad for the position.  The application is open to anyone willing to apply and the committee is also strongly encouraging the submission of nominations through the official presidential search website.

Applicants will be screened and narrowed to a field of 10 candidates who will be flown into Atlanta for the first round of interviews.  Six to seven candidates will then be selected to visit the UWG campus and interact with faculty, staff, and students.  Three to five candidates will then be presented before the Special Regent’s Search Committee who will make a recommendation to Chancellor Hank Huckaby and the full Board of Regents.

Public meetings concerning the progress of the search will be held regularly and dates will be announced when a schedule is finalized.  When it is published, communication outside of meetings will occur on the official presidential search website.

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