Provost Search Committee Minutes
October 3, 2011
3:30pm, Stillwell 338
Richard Starnes called the Provost Search Committee to order.
Present: Richard Starnes, Steve Warren, Carol Burton, Mary Ann Lochner, Perry Schoon,
Abilasha Aparajithan, AJ Grube, Brian Howell, Jason Lavigne, Jerry Miller, Krista Schmidt,
Kyle Thomson, Mickey Randolph, Peg Connolly, Sam Miller, Shannon Thompson, and Sloan
Despeaux and Anne Aldrich, recorder.
1. Opening Comments – Dr. Starnes thanked everyone for their service and commitment of time
for this meeting. He reviewed the meeting schedule and noted these dates have been placed on
the Provost Search website as well as posted on the two bulletin boards in the lobby of the H.F.
Robinson Administration Building.
2. Ad Status – The ad has been posted to the Chronicle of Higher Education. Please send
Richard and copy Anne any professional organizations or forums where you would like the ad to
be placed. We are also working to get the ad printed on letterhead for the chronicle.
3. Legal Requirements and Open Meetings Information/Mary Ann Lochner – Ms. Lochner stated
that all Provost Search Committee meetings are public until the committee begins to discuss
candidates specifically. Mary Ann distributed information for the committee to review regarding
the Open Meeting requirements. Mary Ann emphasized the following:
All meetings are open to the public until such time as they are not.
Meetings dates are posted; if meetings change, notice must be noted seven days prior to the
Special meetings have to be noticed 48 hours in advance.
To go into closed session there are specific words required to use – a committee member
must make a motion to go into closed session and make a motion to come out of closed
Personnel files of applicants are confidential under state law – every document created, notes
taken, etc. will all be collected at the end of the search process and maintained as a personnel
record for that individual for three years.
A general account of what happens in closed session must be maintained.
For Skype interviews, these will be scheduled as special meetings that will move into closed
session for the interview.
4. Next Steps – PeopleAdmin will administer committee members a guest login to view
applications – members can choose to view as we go along or view them all at once.
a. Candidate Questions - Are there suggestions or strategies for review of the interview
For the chancellor’s search, each committee member had a question assigned to them – each
candidate addressed the same questions in the same order – this worked very well in evaluating
the candidates uniformly.
As a committee, to establish a list of candidates, the chancellor’s search committee created a
template of the characteristics we wanted. Everyone was told to vote for their top five out of all
the applicants and rank them from one to five. Each search committee member came up with
their individual criteria based on the ad. Terry Welch, administrative support to the Chancellor’s
Search Committee, tallied the rankings. The committee found there was a lot of commonality
and they were able to reduce the list to three after discussion.
If candidates do not meet the minimum criteria, Human Resources should eliminate those
applicants, but Richard will review.
What is the final number we want to schedule Skype interviews with? Discussion ensued. The
committee agreed to five to seven Skype interviews.
b. Reference Questions and Strategies - Richard would like to appoint two sub committees - one
to create a list of candidate questions based on the ones we have from the chancellor search and
the second to draft common questions to ask references. We may wish to create a second set of
questions to ask off list references. The sub committees are as follows:
1) Candidate questions – Mickey Randolph, Christa Schmidt and Jason Lavigne
2) Reference questions – Shannon Thompson, Carol Burton and AJ Grube
c. Short List Interviews - How long should the Skype interviews last? Discussion ensued. The
search committee agreed to schedule each Skype interview for one hour with the interviews
lasting approximately 45 minutes to an hour. We will schedule these over two days.
How will the committee go from 40 applicants to five to seven applicants? The chancellor’s
search committee had the members each give their top five; Terry tabulated the votes and
determined the top ten candidates. Those were then narrowed down to six. The chancellor’s
search committee spent a good part of one day to discuss the top ten providing opportunity for
good consensus for the final six who were brought in for airport interviews. The Provost Search
Committee agreed to this process. They will send their top five applicants to Anne.
5. Timeline – Our goal is to begin campus interviews the second week of classes in January. We
will need to have identified our finalists the first week of December. Reference calls would need
to follow and two committee members could be assigned to each candidate. Another meeting
needs to be scheduled right after the December 7th meeting for Skype interviews. At the
December 15th meeting we will identify our finalists and then need to go off reference list for
calls. One suggestion is for committee members to call their counterparts.
The committee asked Anne to schedule another meeting after the December 7th meeting and to
move the December 15th meeting up earlier. We can ask for good contact information over the
holidays to follow up with the three finalists.
Next meeting – Our next meeting is October 20th, 7:00am - 8:30am. We will talk about
reference and candidate questions. Please poll your constituents and come back with what is
wanted regarding campus visits - what forums, constituencies that the candidates need to meet
with, etc. We usually assign dates for campus interviews and the candidates decide which they
will come to. Richard will send out an email with this information.
6. Closing Comments - At the last provost search there was a single topic assigned for the
candidate’s presentations. The committee will discuss this further.
The search is open to internal candidates and they go through the exact same process as external
If we schedule three candidates to visit campus and one cancels, are we okay with two? We will
have an alternate to come to campus in this event.
A motion was made and seconded to adjourn. The Provost Search Committee meeting
adjourned at 4:22pm.