Presidential Search: What has happened and what is to come?



The Presidential Search Committee discussing the updates on new candidates. Photo by Tristan Reyes

Colin McCann

Change is coming to UNF leadership, as President John Delaney will be finishing up his term at the end of the semester. Delaney’s last day in office will be May 31.

Although we as a student body may just now be tuning in to this change of leadership, there is a group of individuals that have been preparing since Delaney made his retirement announcement. On April 1, 2017, the Presidential Search Committee was created. On the 10th, search guidelines were defined, and the following day subcommittees were established.

According to the Association of Governing Boards (AGB), the duties of a presidential search committee are to represent the institution, the board, and the school community in its search for possible presidential candidates. The Presidential Search Committee and the subcommittees were also established to help ensure a smooth presidential transition.

Executive search firms are often hired by organizations to help in the search for presidential candidates. On May 23, 2017, UNF’s Board of Trustees approved Parker Executive Search to help in the process. The firm met with the Board of Trustees in June to determine a search process and qualifications for candidates.

Parker Executive Search has given the Presidential Search Committee a search update on Oct. 12, Nov. 16, and Dec. 7, and the group is set to give another update on Jan. 18.

Now and throughout February, candidates will be chosen based on qualifications and if the individual is interested in the position. The candidates will be identified through nominations and suggestions made by the committee and Parker Executive Search.

On Feb. 1, the Presidential Search Committee plans to schedule interviews for around eight candidates. Those interviews may take place around Feb. 6 or 7. Additional interviews may take place in the Student Union from Feb. 11 to Feb. 15. During this time, Parker Executive Search will commence background checks on the remaining candidates.

The final interviews may occur on Feb. 16, as well as the potential selection of a President-elect. Final documentation to confirm the President-elect will be submitted to the Florida Board of Governors on March 7. On March 28 and 29, the potential President-elect will appear before the Florida Board of Governors for confirmation.

UNF has a list of preferred characteristics and qualifications. Some of those include being a leader who is inspirational, bold, approachable, creative, caring, and more. The new president should be able to respond to change, listen, build partnerships, and advocate for higher education.

UNF’s Board of Trustees welcomes nominations, applications, and any letters of interest. Anyone interested can submit an application online by Feb. 1.


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