BOT approves search firm for vice president position

An external search firm to recruit a new vice president for academic affairs was approved Friday at the Board of Trustees meeting.

The board also gave its full support for the vitalization project and listened to faculty requests regarding the project.

The board approved the purchase of an external search firm after Eastern’s current vice president for academic affairs Blair Lord announced he would be retiring during the summer of 2017.

The purchase will not exceed $90,000, and the recommended vendor is the Witt/Kieffer search firm.

Eastern President David Glassman said the board’s justification for the purchase is based on the need for national attention to reach the largest and “most robust” pool of national candidates.

According to the board’s rationale, an external search firm can also provide assistance by developing and enhancing the quality of the candidate pool, recruiting and screening potential candidates and coordinating search and recruitment logistics.

Kristopher Goetz, the board’s vice chair, said the university does not have the internal resources for a provost search, so there is a need for an external search firm.

Jemmie Robertson, the Faculty Senate chair, spoke on behalf of the senate and reported the concerns about the vitalization project the senate discussed at its past meeting.

Robertson said though the senate shares an interest in the success of the vitalization project and senses the potential for great achievement, senate members addressed concerns regarding workgroups one through seven.

Robertson argued that the ideas generated from work groups eight and nine will be made clear and widely shared with the campus community in January and February; however, he said it is not explicitly stated that the outcomes of one through seven be published immediately.

“We request they be shared in reasonable manner with the campus community,” Robertson said.

Robertson also invited the board to consider the ratio between the administration and students.

“One point that I would like to bring up in the president’s address and again last week at (the Council on University Planning and Budget), President Glassman mentioned that we need to adjust our faculty-to-student ratio perhaps and adjust our staff-to-student ratio,” Robertson said. “However, nowhere in either of those addresses do I recall being mentioned that we should take a look at our administration-to-student ratio.”

Robertson pointed out that administrations have grown across the United States.

The board did not directly address Robertson’s concerns, but Joseph Dively, the chair of the board, said at the start of the meeting that the project is important.

“This is something that President Glassman has our full support,” Dively said. “We really appreciate the process he’s laid out to get broad campus input.”

Dively said that 80 or 90 “folks” have volunteered to participate in the committees so far.

He added that there has not been a more critical time for the Eastern community to engage in this process.

“I know that there’s a lot going on and there’s other priorities and other services and issues and opportunities that you’ve committed to, but I just ask you to get involved,” Dively said. “This train’s moving really quick and we think speed is of critical importance and it just has our full support and we continue to look for reports from that.”


Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].