The search continues for a new UNF president

Colin McCann

On Jan. 18, the Presidential Search Committee, headed by Chair Kevin Hyde, continued their search for the next president of UNF.

During the meeting, Parker Executive Search (a company hired by the UNF Board of Trustees to help choose candidates for the position) also gave its fourth search update. Parker Executive Search President Laurie Wilder and Vice President Porsha Williams spoke to the committee over the phone. After getting past some technical difficulties, Wilder and Williams informed the committee that there were 26 individuals that had already submitted their application for consideration.

They also said around 20 individuals said they will submit an application, and 25 said they were considering it. Candidates come from many different backgrounds: some being former presidents or vice presidents in external affairs, research or academic development, and others coming from outside the world of academics.

Colin McCann
The Presidential Search Committee discussing the number of candidates for UNF president.

Wilder and Williams believe there will be approximately 40 to 50 candidates that will have submitted their application by Jan. 25, and even more will apply at the last minute. The firm has also received over 130 nominations for the position. 73 of those nominations are from the UNF campus.

On Feb. 1, the Presidential Search Committee will schedule interviews for the top eight candidates. The search firm and committee stated they will be looking for candidates to give examples of success and experience in response to interview questions.

Additionally, the search firm will be doing media reviews as part of the background checks. Specifically, they will be looking for articles that negatively portray the candidates. The candidates should also be able to develop relationships internally and externally. The committee talked about giving candidates a chance to ask the committee questions as well.

Wilder and Williams also stated that the firm cannot privately release their list of preferences for candidates, as it would become public records due to FL laws. They said that releasing preferences might deter others from seeking the position.

Wilder and Williams cautioned that their choices may affect people’s careers and lives, and the process of choosing candidates should elevate the top candidates rather than talking negatively about candidates the committee is not interested in.

Anyone interested can still submit an application online by Feb. 1.


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