More than a month into Joe Callahan’s tenure as the Interim Chancellor at Montana State University-Northern, the committee to find his replacement is getting into gear for the fall search.
The 20-member search committee met Wednesday afternoon, their first in-person meeting since a day full of talks back in May with several groups with stake in Northern, including student groups, faculty, the University Advisory Committee and community members.
Last week’s meeting was primarily to prepare the final components to get the search under way, approving the search advertisements that will go out in the next week and the university’s prospectus, to provide information about the institution for those candidates who may consider the position.
Once the position is advertised, the search goes into a quiet phase while they deliberate over candidates until they announce their finalists in November. Those finalists will visit Northern for further, more public, scrutiny.
The finalist eventually chosen for the position is expected to take over in January.
Callahan, who co-chairs the committee with MSU Vice President for External Relations Doug Steele, said the meeting was effective and successful.
“The committee is working really well together, ” Callahan said. “Views and concerns are being shared and heard. ”
He also attributed some
of that success to the involvement of Constantine “Deno” Curris, a senior consultant from Academic Search Inc., on the comittee.
“When you’re working with a firm that has done thousands of searches, they’ve got a lot of experience, ” Callahan said.
Both Callahan and Jim Potter, Northern’s director of university relations, said that May’s meetings gave them several ideas of what various groups want out of the next chancellor and this contributed to Wednesday’s work.
“If you keep hearing the same thing mentioned from meeting to meeting, you realize that is something they feel is important, ” Potter said.
One of the concerns shared between a few of the groups in May was about the choice to conduct this search now, to have the new chancellor start in January.
While some of the faculty and community input has indicated they feel this might not yield the best candidates, Callahan feels this is not a major concern.
He said the search firm has assured the committee that it is “not uncommon in higher education to have mid-year transitions, ” as administrative staff do not have the school year-length obligations that faculty have.
Callahan and the committee are excited to see the applicants who end up applying and choosing the few that will make it to November.