WSU president search moves forward

WESTFIELD – Westfield State University is moving forward with its search for a new president. The Search Committee met on Friday morning in the Horace Mann Building to select candidates for an initial round of interviews, which will take place later this month in executive session and off-campus. Once the list is narrowed to a set of finalists, the finalists will be presented to the campus.
The initial pool of 500 candidates was selected and recruited by Diversified Search of Philadelphia, PA, a woman-owned, top ten executive search firm with specialties in the areas of education and not-for-profits. Diversified was chosen in January by the Search Committee from four firms who had submitted a request for proposal. The budget approved for the presidential search is $125,000, which was based on the previous search in 2008 when Dr. Evan S. Dobelle was selected as president, according to Molly Watson in the Office of Public Affairs. Watson said this amount is within 10-20 percent of what other schools are doing.
Search Committee member Carlton Pickron, Vice President of Student Affairs and Co-Chair Steven Marcus ’88, University Trustee, are very pleased with the progress of the committee.
“I think there’s a lot of serious passion and concern about candidate selection,” Pickron said. “We are giving it a lot of thought, and studying credentials. The pool is truly diversified in so many ways: gender, race, experience and background.”
“It is great to see the process working,” Marcus said. “Unions, business leaders, trustees, students… all working collaboratively to find the next president.”
Pickron said that at Friday’s meeting the committee had culled 500 candidates down to just below 20 active, eligible candidates. He said that number might change after the Trustee meeting next Tuesday. These candidates will be interviewed on August 27 and 28 in executive session off-campus.
Elizabeth D. Scheibel, Chair of the Board of Trustees, who sat in on the meeting as a non-voting member, said, “This is clearly a case of the process working.”
Other members of the Search Committee include: Katheryn Bradford, M.S., Director, Alumni Relations (APA); Junior Delgado M.Ed. ’03, Director, Career Services (APA); Evelyn Dina ’16, SGA President, Student Representative; Justin Connolly ’16, Student Trustee; Margot Hennessy, Ph.D., Chair, Ethnic and Gender Studies, MSCA Chapter President; Terrell Hill M.Ed. ’92, Trustee; Robin Jensen, Chair, Foundation Board; Ron’na Lytle, Administrative Assistant, Ethnic and Gender Studies and World Languages, (AFSCME); Luis Perez, J.D., Trustee; Henry Thomas, M.A., J.D., BHE Representative; Edward Welsh, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Mathematics (MSCA).
Once the list is narrowed down to a set of finalists following the initial interviews, the finalists will be presented to campus. The committee will then provide its report and recommendations about the finalists to the Board of Trustees. The hope is to have someone in place by January 1, if not before, according to Marcus.
Information about the search process is available on the website at www.westfield.ma.edu/presidential-search.
Also available on the website is the outcome of the lawsuits concerning former president Dobelle which are completed, according to Watson. This information may be found at www.westfield.ma.edu/moving-forward.

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