Process & Progress of the Provost/VPAA Search
January 7, 2013
Since our last update in November, the VPAA/Provost Search Committee has been hard at work on the search process. We continue to be grateful for the dedication and time commitment the committee has given to this process.
In mid-November the Committee re-commenced work with its search consultants, William Funk and Associates, and after lengthy discussions decided to take a two pronged approach to the renewed search: first, it was decided that the Search Committee would re-examine the current pool of candidates; and second, working in conjunction with our consultants, it was decided to seek further nominations and to target highly qualified individuals who had not applied during the first phase of the search. Throughout the second half of November this two pronged process led to approximately 30 potential candidates being contacted either by the search consultants or by members of the Search Committee. On November 30 the Search Committee met in order to consider the resulting pool of candidates and decided to conduct video interviews with ten particularly well-qualified candidates on December 7 and 10. The Committee also agreed to consider the possibility of conducting additional video interviews in the New Year if any additional candidates came forward. This did indeed happen and an eleventh video interview was conducted on January 3.
As always, the Search Committee worked on the basis of requiring a super majority (66%) of support before any candidate was video interviewed and then once again a similar vote was required before any candidate was offered an on-campus interview. In order to keep the process moving over the break period when many Committee members were away from campus, the co-chairs were delegated to do reference checks on the finalists and to arrange for additional Lexis-Nexis and criminal background checks on the candidates. The result of this work has yielded a short list of three exceptionally well-qualified candidates who have agreed to make on-campus visits to UND in January and early February of 2013.
Thomas DiLorenzo, currently the Associate Vice-President for Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, will be visiting campus from January 23 to 25.
Ken O'Donnell, currently the Senior Director, Student Engagement and Academic Initiatives and Partnerships, in the California State University Office of the Chancellor, will be visiting campus from January 29 to 31.
John Koropchak, currently Vice-Chancellor for Research and Graduate Dean at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, will be visiting campus from February 4 to 6.
Copies of each candidate's curriculum vitae and a full listing of their on-campus schedules and public meetings will be made available well in advance of their respective arrivals on campus. We will be following similar schedules and utilizing the same processes that were utilized with the first group of candidates, including an open campus forum. As always, the Search Committee will be seeking as much feedback on each candidate as is possible, so we encourage faculty, staff, and students to participate in the various meetings and to fill out the candidate feedback forms that will be made available electronically.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We are very optimistic about these excellent candidates and remain committed to finding the best candidate for this important position at UND. Thank you for your support.
Lori Reesor and Jim Mochoruk, Co-Chairs, Provost Search Committee
Process & Progress of the Provost/VPAA Search
December 2, 2012
Provost Search—Next Steps
Recently, President Kelley provided an update to the campus community to let everyone know that we are continuing the search for a Provost at the University of North Dakota. We would like to provide some additional information about how that process will move forward.
First, we would like to thank our fellow search committee members, as well as all those involved in the search and interview process, for their thorough and diligent consideration of the fine candidates brought forward. At the same time, we have all been very rigorous in our commitment to find a candidate with the right skill set that will meet the University's needs. President Kelley identified such a candidate from the group of candidates forwarded to him, but despite considerable effort, we were unable to arrive at a mutually- beneficial agreement with that candidate.
Our search is now continuing with an expanded pool of candidates. Our consultant, Funk and Associates, has worked with us to identify a number of extremely well-qualified candidates for consideration. The search committee met on November 30 to review this expanded pool. We will be scheduling 10 video interviews on December 7 and 10, and may well undertake even more over the succeeding days if new candidates continue to emerge. The search committee will meet again following those interviews to select the best candidates to come to UND for a campus interview. We hope to schedule the campus interviews to occur in January. Please be assured we are searching for the very best provost candidate for UND. As always, we are open to your questions, comments, and suggestions.
Jim Mochoruk and Lori Reesor, Co-Chairs, Provost Search Committee
November 19, 2012
I am writing to let the campus community know that we are continuing the search for a Provost at the University of North Dakota.
Our Search Committee, chaired by Lori Reesor, Vice President for Student Affairs, and Jim Mochoruk, Chair of the University Senate, has done a fine job of identifying a pool of talented candidates, three of whom have visited our campus. However, we have not yet been able to satisfactorily fill this position.
We express sincere thanks to the Search Committee for their hard work thus far, as well as our appreciation for their continued engagement in the search process.
Given the key importance of this position in leading the University's academic advancement, we plan to take additional time to move thoughtfully through this process. The Search Committee will continue to seek and evaluate candidates, and we will provide updates as the process continues.
Robert O. Kelley, President
Process & Progress of the Provost/VPAA Search
September 24, 2012
Since the last update to the campus community, the VPAA/Provost Search Committee has been especially busy. As was mentioned at the time (August 21, 2012) the members of the Search Committee began reviewing the files of applicants who had sent in full dossiers during the week of August 13th, realizing that new files might still be arriving. In all, between August 13 and the arrival of the final complete dossier of application on September 5th, the Committee considered the files of 38 applicants.
Using the agreed upon procedure of each candidate needing a super-majority of 2/3s support to move to the next level of scrutiny – direct reference checks – at the Search Committee meeting of August 23 it was decided to advance the candidacy of 13 applicants. Working in conjunction with our consulting firm references for all 13 short-listed candidates were procured and, over the next week and a half, Search Committee members conducted half hour to forty-five minute long telephone interviews with three referees for each candidate. Our search consultants also carried out separate "Lexis/Nexis" checks on each of the 13 candidates and then forwarded that material to the Search Committee as an additional source of data for consideration. Committee members also continued to consider the files of applicants whose files arrived after the August 23rd meeting. After due consideration, none of these candidates were advanced to the short list.
On September 7 the Search Committee reconvened for the express purpose of: (a) discussing the results of the telephone reference checks and the "Lexis/Nexis" reports; (b) discussing all of the 13 candidates in light of the new data; and (c) selecting a short-list of candidates to be invited for in-person airport interviews in Minneapolis. Once again utilizing the procedure of requiring a super majority of support for each candidate to be advanced to the next phase, the Search Committee chose seven particularly well-qualified candidates. Despite the shortness of time involved, working in conjunction with our search consultants, arrangements were made for all seven candidates and the vast majority of the Search Committee (all but two members) to meet in Minneapolis on the weekend of September 14-16. A representative of the search consulting firm was on hand to help manage the candidate pool and to conduct post-interview debriefings with each candidate, which were then shared with the Committee. Over the course of this weekend the Search Committee met with each candidate for an hour and a half, posing the same core questions to each person. The Committee also conducted two brief "set-up" meetings each morning and debriefed at the end of interviewing on both days.
On Monday, September 17th, the Committee convened yet again in order to determine the candidates who should have non-directed reference checks made about them, preliminary to being invited for on-campus interviews. At this meeting three strong finalists were agreed upon and it was determined to conduct non-directed telephone reference checks upon Dr. Anthony Vizzini, Dr. Christa Slaton and Dr. Michelle Larson. It was also decided that these results would be shared at the planned meeting of September 21 and a final determination on inviting these candidates would be made at this time.
In preparation for the meeting of September 21 preliminary arrangements were made for possible on-campus interview dates in October, lists were drawn up for the necessary meetings for candidates and various campus constituencies, and very tentative campus schedules were outlined. At the meeting, held on the afternoon of Friday, September 21 the Search Committee considered the last bits of data obtained in the course of the non-directed telephone interviews and voted in favor of bringing Drs. Larson, Slaton and Vizzini in for on-campus interviews. The Co-Chairs were tasked with preparing releases of this information, an update on the search process, and making the arrangements for the impending on-campus interviews by Monday, September 24. Most of these arrangements have been completed and all three candidates have agreed to come to campus in October. The on-campus interviews will occur as follows:
October 8 and 9
Dr. Anthony Vizzini
Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Western Michigan University
Dr. Anthony Vizzini's CV
October 10 and 11
Dr. Christa Slaton
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico State University
Dr. Christa Slaton's CV
October 15 and 16
Dr. Michelle Larson
Vice Provost at Utah State University
Dr. Michelle Larson's CV
Process & Progress of the Provost/VPAA Search
August 21, 2012
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.
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 August 10th, 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 August 10th 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 available). 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.
|Monday, Aug. 13||Receive applications of those who applied to the ad and already on file with Human Resources|
|Week of Aug. 13||Receive applications of candidates|
|Thursday, Aug. 23||Search Committee Meeting – 10 AM-1 PM in Twamley Hall, Room 305|
|Aug. 28 - Sept. 6||Committee members contact assigned references|
|Friday, Sept. 7||Search Committee Meeting – 2-5 PM in Twamley Hall, Room 404|
|Sept. 14-16||Airport interviews in Minneapolis|
|Sept. 17-20||Search committee members make non-directed reference calls|
|Friday, Sept. 21||Search Committee Meeting – 2-5 PM in Twamley Hall, Room 305|
|Early to mid-Oct.||Campus interviews|
|Late Oct.||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
Update to the UND Community on the Progress and Process of the VPAA/Provost Search
July 9, 2012
The work of the Provost Search Committee is well underway. Since first convening on May 10, 2012 and receiving its charge from President Kelley, the Committee has engaged R. William Funk & Associates as the University's executive search consultant. In addition, in fulfilling its obligation to the University the committee has spent much of its time and effort on developing two documents: (a) a short position description that will be used in our official advertisements and (b) a more detailed outline of the "Responsibilities, Attributes, and Skills" necessary for this position. The Committee constructed these documents based on several steps.
On May 31, 2012 the entire search committee met with Provost LeBel and President Kelley (in separate sessions) to collect data on their perspectives regarding the duties of the Provost/VPAA and the skills and attributes needed to fulfill that position. A sub-committee was tasked with using the collected data to formulate a rough draft of a job description. After two meetings in early June, the sub-committee produced drafts of both a job description and the "Responsibilities, Attributes, and Skills" document. Subsequently, the Search Committee convened a meeting to vet the documents. The Committee suggested more changes and posted the draft documents on the Provost Search website. At that point, the Committee sought comments and suggestions from the larger UND community. During this time, the Committee made arrangements to bring Mr. Bill Funk of Funk & Associates for a campus visit and open forum. Bill Funk's visit included more data collection from an outsider's perspective. The visit helped us in finalizing our job description and in developing our candidate recruitment plan.
During Mr. Funk's visit, he met with a number of constituent groups to learn more about UND and the expectations of a new Provost. A vital part of Bill Funk's campus visit was the open forum on June 19, 2012. A full recording of this open forum/webinar is available on the Provost Search website. In addition, the Committee was pleased to report that many members of the UND community provided useful feedback via the website. After the Committee reviewed and reflected on the UND Community's comments and questions as well as feedback from Bill Funk, the Committee revisited and modified the job description. In addition, the Committee incorporated the University feedback into the "Responsibilities, Attributes, and Skills" document. Again, these documents are now finalized and available on the Provost Search website.
In conjunction with the Office of University Relations and William Funk & Associates, these two core documents are currently being used to formulate the "Leadership Statement" — a longer document which will be used as an additional recruitment tool, explaining not only the position and the expected attributes of the candidates, but also the opportunities that UND will provide to the successful candidate. The Committee anticipates that this document will be finalized over the next few days and it will also be available on the Provost Search website.
To date, the University has placed advertisements in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Hispanic Outlook, Diverse Issues in Education, and Women in Higher Education. The search consultants have also begun their work of contacting potential candidates and are actively seeking nominations for the position.
Now it is time for all of us as members of the UND community to nominate candidates and spread the word about the search through listservs and other venues. Please send nominations directly to:
Finally, the updated timeline is also on the Provost Search website. Please note the goal is to have finalists on campus this fall and the start date of the selected candidate will depend upon their availability. The latest anticipated start date would be July 2013. One of the goals of the search committee is to ensure an open and transparent process to the University community. If at any time you have questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact us. Thank you for your support.
—Jim Mochoruk and Lori Reesor, Co-Chairs of Provost Search Committee