COURTNEY MIRANDA; Social Media & Outreach Coordinator;

Courtney MirandaThe Presidential Search Committee, comprised of various leadership groups around the Pacific Lutheran University community, has begun the search for the next PLU president.

“There are competing interests and we have to find out what will do the greatest good,” said committee co-chair Susan Caulkins.

The committee includes of Board of Regents members, faculty, staff, students and community representatives. Each PLU constituency leader was responsible for nominating their own members for the search committee.

The nominated students include members of ASPLU, the collective and other leadership groups on campus. The committee is meant to be a workable size yet large enough to encompass all student voices.

“Each of those representatives perhaps has a better vocabulary of those groups,” said Caulkins. “It can help us facilitate the focus groups as we go forward in framing this program.”

As of now, the committee has a three-step timeline.

First: pair with a search firm consultant.

“It’s better for us and for the University to hire a professional with the contacts and experience in conducting a search and assisting us in this process,” said Caulkins.

Currently a subcommittee composed of three people is reviewing the six or seven proposals submitted from the chosen firms. They’re projected to make a decision on a search firm before the New Year.

Second: conduct focus group conversation to gather information about the campus community’s wants and needs in their next president.

“As we synthesize that feedback, we then paint the portrait,” said Caulkins. “We then delineate the skills and experience when balanced against the needs of the University going forward.”

They are information synthesizers, gathering and processing data from the campus community to find the perfect candidate.

Third: present the chosen candidates to the Board of Regents.

“The committee actually makes no decisions as to who the next president will be,” said Caulkins. “It gathers information from the campus community at large by which the profile of the next president will be developed.”

The committee estimates to cross the finish line towards the end of the 2018-19 academic year—as the process tends to track with the academic cycle.

The end goal is to be deliberate and thorough in their search process in order to find the best fit for the university moving forward. ◼︎

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