Community to meet & interview the three would-be presidents

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Since the start of the spring semester, there has been talk about the potential for presidential candidates remaining anonymous.

However, according to a March 21 announcement in The Beacon, Guilford College’s next top administrator will not be cloaked in anonymity.

Open campus interviews are planned for April 1–3 for the three candidates recommended by the presidential search committee to the board of trustees.

“The identities of the finalists will be announced Monday, March 31,” said Vice President of Communications and Marketing Ty Buckner.

Students, faculty, staff and community leaders will have sessions with each candidate, and all will have the opportunity to give trustees their input through an online survey.

From April 1–3, there will be open faculty and staff sessions. Candidate presentations will be held from 10–10:45 a.m. in the Moon Room of Dana Auditorium and 2–2:50 p.m. in Bauman Gallery East in Founders Hall.

Student sessions will be held from 11–11:40 a.m. each day.

The trustees, who will select the next president, are scheduled to meet Saturday, April 5, at the Community Center to discuss the candidates.

Some speculate that a final decision will be made at that meeting.

Candidates will also meet with senior staff, the clerk of the faculty, Clerk’s Committee and Academic Division chairs, members of the board of visitors, alumni, community leadership and trustees, as well as President and Professor of Political Science, Kent Chabotar.

Chabotar said that he is not involved with the candidates’ visit but believes that the Board has used appropriate practices for seeking and interviewing the candidates.

The 15-member presidential search committee, chaired by trustee Carole Bruce, began its work last summer, assisted by the Witt/Kieffer executive search firm.

Bruce told The Guilfordian that the search committee is pleased that the candidates are in a position to meet with Guilford students, staff and faculty in open meetings as well as alumni and Greensboro community leaders.

“All of those who meet with the candidates will have an opportunity to share feedback with the trustees through Survey Monkey — technology supported by our search consultant Witt/Kieffer,” Bruce said.

On March 12 and 13, the committee interviewed 10 semifinalist candidates, from which the finalists were selected. None of these were candidates already employed by the College.

Jim Hood, professor of English, and Aaron Fetrow, vice president and dean of student affairs, were not selected as finalists.

Fetrow said that upon hearing that the interview process was to be open, he was thrilled.

“I would certainly expect community forums of some sort for the candidates,” said Fetrow. “Students should absolutely attend and ask big-picture questions about the future of our institution and avoid focusing on narrow topics.

“I think students should also ask questions that help us all understand how each candidate sees their role in the day-to-day community life of our campus.”

Buckner indicated this process is an exciting new chapter for Guilford and is in line with the College’s core values.

“The open interviews were desired by many on campus who value Guilford’s commitment to transparent decision making,” said Buckner. “It’s encouraging that the next president of the College will have engaged with a broad range of Guilford people during the interview process, as was the case when Kent Chabotar was hired in 2002.”