University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Campus update: process and progress of the Provost/VPAA search

Despite the onset of summer since our last update, the Provost Search Committee has been quite productive. To begin with, working in conjunction with the Office of University Relations our “Leadership Statement” was finalized, posted on our website and made available to interested candidates through the efforts of our search consultants, R. William Funk and Associates. This document not only explains the position and the skill set expected of the candidates, but also makes clear what a wonderful set of opportunities UND offers; in short, it is both a job description and a recruiting tool. The Committee invites everyone who has not yet seen it to take a careful look at this impressively produced document. It is available at

In addition to the advertisements that were run in early July (The Chronicle of Higher Education, Hispanic Outlook, Diverse Issues in Education, and Women in Higher Education) a second round of advertisements were run for July/August, most notably in The Chronicle of Higher Education. At the same time the search consultants undertook a rigorous campaign of identifying and contacting potential candidates and following up on the nominations that began to flow in from this campus and elsewhere. Over 120 individuals were identified by the consultants as possible candidates and over 25% of that pool has either sent in their materials or indicated that they would be sending them in very shortly.

While there were no more meetings of the Search Committee until Aug. 10, the Co-Chairs spoke with the search consultant on a regular basis and attended to the usual routine matters of the search, such as making certain that the request to recruit was properly approved by the Affirmative Action Office and then filed with Human Resources. They were also in contact with Dean Rand and Professor Gershman, who are leading the search for the Dean of EHD. Because of the possibility of overlap in terms of scheduling on-campus interviews with candidates for these positions and shared membership on the two search committees it was recognized that a certain level of coordination was crucial. And, working in conjunction with the consultants, an updated timeline was put together to help focus the committee’s discussion at the Aug. 10 meeting.

At that meeting the Search Committee received an update from Mr. Funk on the work of his firm over the course of the summer. His very positive view of the candidate pool that was beginning to form was coupled with strong advice for the committee to move as quickly as possible to review files and make preparations for the remainder of the search.  (Reminder that committee minutes are online at In terms of process, the search committee is currently compiling their recommendations in order to produce a preliminary short list of candidates who would be considered for further vetting via direct reference calls. It was agreed that decisions about which candidates would move forward to the next level of scrutiny would be decided by a “super-majority” vote of 2/3s. Once this process is completed the Search Committee will meet in early September to decide upon the candidates who will be invited for a first round of off-campus interviews.

It is anticipated that the first round of candidate screening will produce a preliminary short list of anywhere from eight to fifteen candidates. After reference checking – which will be conducted by members of the Search Committee – this list will be reduced to anywhere from six to ten candidates. The goal will be to bring these candidates in for “airport interviews” in Minneapolis over the weekend of September 14-16. The Search Committee will then hold another discussion at the conclusion of that weekend in order to determine who should undergo yet another round of checks – this time non-directed reference calls by Committee members plus the “due diligence” checks that will be handled by the search consultant. With all of the results from the various interviews and reference checks completed the Search Committee will re-convene on September 21st to decide on the candidates who should be brought to campus. Our mandate in regard to the exact number of on-campus interviews is open, but we hope to bring the candidates for on-campus interviews beginning in October.

Tentative Timeline

Monday, August 13 Receive applications of those who applied to the ad and already on file with Human Resources
Week of August 13 Receive applications of candidates
Thursday, August 23 Search Committee Meeting – 10:00 AM-1:00 PM in Twamley Hall, Room 305
August 28-September 6 Committee members contact assigned references
September 7 Search Committee Meeting – 2:00-5:00 PM in Twamley Hall, Room 404
September 14-16 Airport interviews in Minneapolis
September 17-20 Search committee members make non-directed reference calls
September 21 Search Committee Meeting – 2:00-5:00 PM in Twamley Hall, Room 305
Early to mid-October Campus interviews
Late October Submit feedback to President Kelley
July 1, 2013 Anticipated start date for new Provost

As we move forward with this process we will continue to keep the campus community updated, including detailed information regarding the finalists who are to be brought in for on-campus interviews and the announcement of public forums where each candidate will have an opportunity to meet with the UND community.  We believe the search committee is working hard and doing an excellent job representing the UND campus community in this important search.   As always, please feel free to contact one of us if you have any questions or comments about the search process.

--Jim Mochoruk and Lori Reesor, co-chairs.

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