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New Mexico State University

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Presidential Search Committee holds first meeting

New Mexico State University's presidential search already has attracted 31 candidates, the Presidential Search Committee learned Monday at its first meeting.


consultant Bill Funk of Korn-Ferry International said searches for university presidents typically result in 50 to 75 active candidates. The search committee will review all the candidates and expects to develop a "short list" of 20 candidates for a closer look in December.

"We are working on a fairly aggressive timetable," said Laura Conniff, president of the NMSU Board of Regents, who is chairing the 17-member search committee. "We hope to have someone named in March."

To hold to that timetable, the committee would need to submit an unranked list of five finalists to the Board of Regents by the end of February so that interviews could be conducted in early March, according to a tentative schedule outlined at Monday's meeting. Confidentiality will be maintained until the five finalists are announced.

Funk said the consultants' role in the search process is "to enrich your pool of candidates, to provide as many excellent candidates as possible," and to help coordinate the process. "The decision as to who moves forward in this process rests with you," he told the committee.

He also stressed the competitive nature of presidential searches today. Universities currently seeking new chief executives include the universities of Washington, Idaho, Utah, Nebraska, Tulsa, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania; Syracuse, Duke and Rice universities; and the University of Texas' Dallas, Arlington and Pan American campuses, he said.

The committee also revised and approved a position description outlining the president's responsibilities and the qualities sought.

More information on NMSU's presidential search can by found on the university's Web site at http://www.nmsu.edu/~advance/ps/.