Oregon State Board of Higher Education
Executive Committee Teleconference Meeting
Eugene Chancellor's Office
111 Susan Campbell Hall, University of Oregon
November 2, 2001
Executive Committee members present: Leslie Lehmann (connected one minute late); Jim Lussier; Phyllis Wustenberg; Don VanLuvanee
Other Board members present: Roger Bassett; Geri Richmond; Tim Young
Chancellor's Office staff present: Chancellor Joe Cox; Vice Chancellor Shirley Clark; Ben Rawlins, Legal Counsel; Alayne Switzer; Virginia Thompson; Board Secretary Diane Vines
Other interested individuals: Larry Dann, Chair of Faculty Council, UO; Steven Landsburg, On-Site Audio, representing Les Ruark; Craig Wollner, Interinstitutional Faculty Senate
Site locations: Room 111, Susan Campbell Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene; Room 511, Urban Center Building, Portland State University, Portland; Government Relations Conference Room (Suite 126), Public Service Building, 255 Capitol Street NE, Salem
Call to Order
Chair Don VanLuvanee called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m.
Purpose of Meeting
Board Secretary Vines announced that this meeting is being taped at the request of Les Ruark, an interested citizen, who was unable to attend the meeting in person. There were no objections by the parties to being taped. Mr. VanLuvanee explained this is an Executive Committee meeting and charged the Executive Committee to act as the Search Committee for the Chancellor's position. He noted that, as President of the Board, he will not be participating or meeting with the Search Committee once the committee has begun the process of launching the search. He thanked the Executive Committee members for their willingness to take on this arduous and very important task.
Charge to Executive Committee as Chancellor Search Committee
Mr. VanLuvanee stated that a pool of talented candidates is anticipated by mid-March 2002, and the Search Committee may chose to refer between three and four candidates to the chair. He noted that institution presidents and other interested individuals will have an opportunity to meet with candidates in a public forum. He pointed out that, in the early stages of the search, confidentiality is critical in attracting capable individuals to the position. The chair of the Search Committee will act as spokesperson and report to Mr. VanLuvanee. There were no objections to Mr. VanLuvanee's request to invite a former board member to act as chair.
Mr. VanLuvanee explained that the goal is to hire a quality search firm to conduct the search, thereby reducing the number of meetings required of the Search Committee itself. The firm will consult with Committee members regarding the qualifications of potential candidates.
Selecting a Chair for the Search Committee
Referring to the recommendation by Mr. VanLuvanee to invite a former Board member to chair the committee, Chancellor Cox pointed out that there is a precedent for former Board members to be involved in such searches. Mr. VanLuvanee suggested inviting a former Board member to chair the committee due to his own inability to dedicate the necessary time that this position will require. He said that the individual whom he has in mind will work for the Board but he will not announce the name until he first gets approval that assistance from a former Board member is acceptable to the Board. Mr. VanLuvanee explained that, with Board approval, he will present the proposal and report back to the committee on whether the proposal is accepted.
It was noted that there are many individuals who have expressed a desire to be involved in the full process. Ms. Lehmann noted the importance of involvement and requested that Chancellor Cox prepare written guidelines to clarify at which stages certain individuals would be involved. Chancellor Cox explained that a virtual network has been developed which allows for a broad range of input and noted that he was already receiving emails regarding the search.
Ms. Lehmann suggested the committee also should pro-actively solicit views. Mr. Bassett stated that Board involvement should go beyond general input and argued that a virtual advisory committee may not be adequate. Mr. VanLuvanee said he didn't disagree, but noted that the process shouldn't become a full-time job for the Board. Ms. Wustenberg noted the importance of recognizing that this is an inclusive process and that individuals have the right to provide input. She pointed out that it is necessary for the Board to ensure that perception. Mr. VanLuvanee asked if there was any objections to inviting a former Board member to chair and report to the committee. There were no objections, however, Mr. Lussier noted that who the individual is makes a difference. Mr. VanLuvanee said that, if the individual accepts the offer, he will make a recommendation to the Board for a vote.
Review RFP for Search Firm
Ben Rawlins stated that an overview of the executive search process is in the package that was recently sent to Board members. He stated that it is a descriptive overview that explains the parameters for consideration of a search firm. He pointed out that they will have to notice this as part of a larger Request for Proposal (RFP) process and stated that it provides a set of options. He stated that it is the role of the committee to advertise the position. Mr. VanLuvanee asked if there was any part that should be highlighted that might be different from other searches. Chancellor Cox explained that the RFP limits the search firm's role to that of developing and maintaining the list of qualified candidates, but it does not authorize the firm to make decisions. He stated that the real decisions will come after the top 25 candidates are identified by the Search Committee with assistance by the firm. However, he noted that it wouldn't necessarily be up to the firm to solicit qualified candidates. It was determined that the Board should encourage individuals who would be good candidates to apply. Mr. Lussier noted that it would be incumbent upon the committee to track the applicants and they would need a master list of anybody who applied or was approached. It was noted that the firm would have to track everyone who responds, but that not all of the information would be sent to the committee, unless requested by the committee.
Role of Search Committee
It was clarified that the RFP description requests the firm to make the initial cut of 25 to 30 candidates. The confidentiality of the names of candidates was identified as a concern. The Search Committee will, at some point, need to identify the qualifications of the candidates. Dr. Richmond stated that the descriptive overview will need to include the System's policy on equal opportunity. Mr. Rawlins explained that the descriptive is only an overview and not what will be published. Dr. Richmond argued that the language should be in both documents. Chancellor Cox emphasize that developing the pool and interviewing the finalists are two important phases in the process for the Search Committee but the Selection Committee will be comprised of the full Board.
Proposed Timeline, Number of Meetings, Proposed Dates
Referring to the rough draft schedule, Mr. VanLuvanee asked staff to contact all members to ascertain their availability. Mr. VanLuvanee told the committee that he has received a letter from the Governor whereby he provided his thoughts on the Chancellor search process. Upon approval by the Governor, Mr. VanLuvanee said he would provide copies of the letter to Board members. He explained that the letter refers to the challenges around the current situation. Mr. Bassett asked whether the Board will have an opportunity to comment on what firm is hired for the job. Chancellor Cox stated that he will provide copies of the results to Board members. Mr. Bassett said he preferred to engage in discussion rather than merely being allowed to provide input. Ms. Lehmann noted that the committee needs to adequately reflect the strategic issues currently facing the System. Mr. Young asked whether there will ever be a Search Committee meeting where Board members will be excluded. Chancellor Cox confirmed that to be the case and explained that, once the list of semi-finalists has been derived, the process moves into executive session. Mr. VanLuvanee pointed out that it is impossible to run a successful search if the process were made public from the beginning. If none of the candidates object to having their candidacy made public at an earlier stage in the process, then the names will be made public at that time. Ms. Wustenberg noted the importance of maintaining confidentiality of candidates, explaining that some individuals wouldn't apply if the process were open from the beginning. Once they have the list of finalists, the process will become public. Mr. VanLuvanee stated that the Chancellor's office will be as open as possible in this process without jeopardizing the potential to attract highly qualified candidates.
Chancellor Cox explained that the presidents will have an opportunity to meet the semi-finalists. Mr. Lussier requested a participation timeline to identify at which point different groups and constituents will be involved in the process. Chancellor Cox noted the importance of having finalists meet the public, pointing out that the manner in which candidates relate to the public will significantly impact their ability to perform as Chancellor. Dr. Richmond noted for the record that she wishes to continue to be viewed as a Board member whose job is teaching and educating, and not as representing faculty.
Review Progress on Position Announcement, Description, Preferred Qualifications/ Experience
Chancellor Cox explained that his staff is currently working on rough drafts of the position announcement, position description and qualifications for the position and will make them available to Board members for an opportunity to comment. He stated that the RFP will soon be launched and that, thus far, eight potential firms have expressed an interest. Chancellor Cox explained that his office will review the responses from firms and will bring them back to the Search Committee for approval.
Virtual Network and Other Avenues for Including Input and Feedback From Presidents
Chancellor Cox encouraged everyone to provide him with email addresses to add to the network. Mr. VanLuvanee asked that comments be forwarded to the Executive Committee and any other Board members who may be interested.
Immediate Next Steps
Chancellor Cox explained that the next steps are to refine the position description, position announcement and qualifications. Mr. Lussier recommended that, once the timeline has been established, changes in the schedule should not be allowed.
The Committee meeting adjourned at 10:47 am