OXFORD – Campus and alumni representatives who have spent several weeks poring over applications and nominations for the University of Mississippi’s next chancellor finished their work Tuesday.
The search advisory committee forwarded the names of several candidates for consideration by the search committee, which includes seven members of the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning. The search is intended to find a successor for Robert Khayat, who will retire June 30.
“The process is progressing as planned,” said Dr. Alice Clark, the advisory committee’s chairwoman. “We’re anticipating interviews in mid-May, and the committee has recommended candidates for interview.”
Clark would not comment on the pool of applicants and nominees other than to say it yielded a selection of candidates that the committee was willing to forward. Other committee members referred questions to Clark.
The next step in the process will be bringing the finalists in for interview by the search committee, which will be accompanied by seven members of the campus advisory committee.
“We’ll have to extend invitations to the candidates and schedule their visits,” said IHL spokeswoman Jennifer Rogers. “The plan at this time is to do the interviews as soon as they can be scheduled.”
Search leaders intend the interviews to yield the one candidate whose name will be made public.
“We’ll do a second-round interview, and our hope is to bring the preferred candidate to campus in June,” Rogers said. The preferred candidate will visit with various campus constituencies before a final hiring vote by the full IHL board.
Search leaders have gone to great lengths to protect the identities of possible candidates, including a secure Web site to exchange information about candidates and pledges of confidentiality by committee members and IHL staffers.
“By having confidentiality, you will have better candidates. It’s that simple,” said Dan Parker, president of Parker Executive Search, which was hired by IHL to lead the process. “The best candidates … want to trust the system and be confidential.”
Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal