Search For Appalachian’s Next Chancellor To Begin In August

Last Updated on June 28, 2013 4:20 pm

The next chancellor at Appalachian State University could be named as early as February and on the job next July, according to Ann Lemmon, associate vice president for human resources at UNC General Administration.

“This will be the most important work you do,” Lemmon told members of Appalachian’s Board of Trustees during a retreat session June 27. “This will be a very attractive job and the search won’t be difficult to conduct. This campus is well known, and is not a campus in crisis,” she said.

Lemmon outlined the process followed in a chancellor’s search, and the typical composition of the search committee and timeline followed.

It’s been 10 years since Appalachian conducted a search for its top administrator. Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock announced in April plans to step down from the post as soon as a successor is named. At the end of the 2013-14 academic year, he will have completed 10 years in the position.

Lemmon said committee representation should reflect the campus and community, with representation from the board of trustees, faculty, administrators, staff, students, alumni and community members. The past search committees in prior UNC system searches ranged from 15 to 19 members.

The search committee does not hire the chancellor, Lemmon said, but reports to the board of trustees who will recommend three candidates to UNC President Tom Ross for consideration.

Lemmon talked about the confidential nature of chancellor searches noting that Appalachian’s search 10 years ago was the last in the system to be an “open search” in which finalists for the position were made public. Such a practice, Lemmon said, can result in qualified candidates dropping out of the process. Search committee members will conduct their work in closed session. They also will be required to sign a letter of confidentiality.

She also said its common practice to hire a search firm that will seek applicants for the position. She said search firms have a broader knowledge base of potential applicants than search committee members will. “If you think about the world of higher education, we know a lot of folks, but we don’t know everybody,” Lemmon said. “There will be people interested in us who we don’t know about.” Lemmon said it’s not unusual to have as many as 50 individuals interested in serving as a chancellor.

Searches typically cost around $120,000, Lemmon said, which includes the cost of hiring a search firm, and expenses such as travel and other costs associated with conducting a search. Appalachian will use state and non-state funds to finance the search, according to Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs Greg Lovins.

Lemmon shared a timeline for the search that would begin in August with the appointment of the search committee, possible screening of applicants and nominees in October, selection of finalists in November, finalist interviews in December, and a recommendation of three finalists submitted to UNC President Tom Ross in December. Ross would then recommend a finalist for UNC Board of Governor approval in February 2014.

“Typically, we move fast,” Lemmon said of past UNC system chancellor searches. “There is nothing more important that a campus will do. This provides the opportunity to think about who you are and who you want to be in the next 10 years.”

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