UNF Presidential Search Committee meets, plans for future

Nathan Turoff, Features Editor

The Presidential Search Committee delivered updates on their search for the new University of North Florida (UNF) president and confirmed they will have a nominee to submit to the Board of Governors (BOG), during a Monday morning meeting. 

The meeting, held over a Zoom webinar, began with brief introductions where the search process up to this point was recapped. The start was slow, but they remain confident that they will have thinned the candidates and narrowed it down to one to present to the BOG. They drew attention to the fact that they had first started meeting in October, subsequently releasing a survey to gather student input on their ideal president. They reported that the survey garnered over 2000 responses.

Their next step will be to figure out who to interview, a process that will happen during their next meeting. 

The committee then shared many defining characteristics and traits that were desirable of the future president. Some of those traits, listed below, were compiled from the survey and community input:

  • “administrative experience”
  • good communication skills
  • “extraordinary collaborative” leadership style
  • “resource development”
  • “commitment to students”
  • “decisive management”
  • “diversity and inclusion, both in terms of the candidates and their record”
  • “consensus-building”

The traits were followed by a commitment from the committee to find a president who is competent and decisive.

“We want to grow but we want to grow productively,” said one member.

The next topic up for discussion was planning the interview structure. They settled on conducting them independently and in person. 

The committee made clear that these interviews are not to decide the president. The questions should cover a wide range of topics, designed to assess the candidate’s capabilities and competencies, they said. The committee strongly encouraged crafting questions in advance along with some backup questions.

“Are they connecting with you at all?” said another member of the committee.

Finally, the committee explained the format of the interviews themselves, consisting of a five-minute introduction, 65-minute questioning of the candidate and a ten-minute period for the candidate to ask questions of their own.

Spinnaker will keep you updated as the Presidential search process continues.


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