Narrowing the field of presidential candidates

Presidential Search Committee selects 12 candidates for video interviews

Casey Ryan (left) co-chair of the UND Presidential Search Committee, introduces Jim McCormick and Janice Fitzgerald from AGB Search, a firm that will assist the committee. Photo by Patrick C. Miller/UND Today.

Twelve semi-finalists will be interviewed via video as UND’s presidential search moves forward.

The UND Presidential Search Committee, which met yesterday, received 60 applications. Three did not meet qualifications, leaving a total of 57 applicants.

“We had a good session,” said Casey Ryan, co-chair of the committee. “We have some excellent candidates, including sitting presidents and people with extensive experience in higher education.”

According to state law, all applications and candidates are confidential until finalists are named and accept invitations to campus. This is UND’s first presidential search since the law, which is meant to attract a stronger pool of candidates, was enacted. The committee received about twice as many applications as the last search did.

The semi-finalists will be invited to interview via video Oct. 22 and 23.

Campus visits Nov. 12-18

After those interviews, the committee will invite four or more finalists for campus visits, tentatively set for Nov. 12-18.

The committee is charged with forwarding at least three names to the State Board of Higher Education, which will appoint UND’s next president.

Search committee member Howard Dahl listens during the Wednesday meeting in Discovery Hall at the UND Energy & Environmental Research Center. Photo by Patrick C. Miller/UND Today.

The committee is assisted by Jim McCormick and Janice Fitzgerald from AGB Search, the same firm which has worked with the North Dakota University System on other presidential searches in the state. AGB will check references and provide other services.

“Vetting the candidates is critical,” said Fitzgerald. “Once we have those final candidates, we’ll begin to hear things about them. Someone on campus will know someone who knows them. The more you can vet the candidates, the better off you are.”

In other business, the committee discussed formulating interview questions for the 12 semi-finalists and accepted the resignation of member Steve Burian, who stepped down for personal reasons. He will not be replaced.

“We have a really robust pool and great candidates,” said Dennis Elbert, co-chair. “We had a thorough discussion, and I’m excited for the next steps as we find UND’s next president.”