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Potential Presidents interviewed today


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I wonder if the ASP screwed up the presidential search? Can't just let things be. Screwed it up for everyone. Now what do we do?

 

http://media.www.thewestgeorgian.com/media...g-3682584.shtml

 

"This letter appeared after a flurry of activity, beginning with UAlbany's student newspaper, the Albany Student Press, listing the confidential names of the school's presidential candidates. UAlbany's Presidential Search Committee had interviewed five candidates in previous weeks that "could be the end of a two-year search for a new leader," wrote Chris Mueller."

 

After the breech in secrecy through the newspaper article, several of the competing candidates dropped from the process, so as not to seem disloyal to their schools for seeking new employment. When Sethna was approached about the naming, he issued a letter to the student body earlier this month, claiming "to be as engaged, and as much of a fierce and devoted advocate and cheerleader for UWG, as I have always been."

Edited by ATL_DANE
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Can't pin this one on the ASP. The ASP article referenced in story above came out on 2/10/09. The Times Union article referenced in the ASP story below came out on 2/6/09.

 

TU ARTICLE

UAlbany has interviews for leader

Interviews of contenders for president's seat may be bringing search to end

 

By MARC PARRY, Staff writer

First published: Friday, February 6, 2009

 

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that the University at Albany had 17,000 students. School officials say the number has grown to over 18,000.

 

ALBANY The University at Albany has interviewed candidates for president under conditions of strict secrecy in what appears to be the high-stakes endgame of its more than two-year quest for a new leader, sources said.

 

Since last week, representatives from UAlbany have met with a short list of candidates in confidential off-campus interviews in the Albany area. Two sources familiar with the search said the following people have been contenders:

 

- David Felten, vice president for research and medical director, Beaumont Hospitals, Royal Oak, Michigan

 

- Barbara Couture, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

- Ronald Berkman, executive vice president and provost, Florida International University

 

- Beheruz Sethna, president, University of West Georgia

 

- Richard Wells, chancellor, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

 

One member of the UAlbany community involved in the interview process described the candidates as finalists and said the goal apparently is to finish the search as soon as possible, perhaps within two weeks.

 

The interviews are welcome news for a 18,000-student campus that has lacked a permanent leader since the highly visible Kermit Hall died in August 2006. In the ensuing time, uncertainty bedeviled the search for his successor. Three governors have led New York since Hall's death. SUNY, the country's largest public higher education system, has been without a permanent chancellor since 2007. And UAlbany absorbed a budget cut of 14 percent, or $11.5 million, in the 2008-09 fiscal year as the state faces a worsening financial crisis.

 

Still, some criticized a search one UAlbany employee described as more "covert" than ever before. Some feel the secrecy goes against SUNY guidelines stating that "when the finalists are scheduled to visit campus, their names are released to the public, along with general information about their background and qualifications."

 

Instead, even interviewers were not given candidates' names in advance during the recent meetings, said one UAlbany employee with knowledge of the search. They were asked to sign agreements pledging not to disclose the candidates' identities. They were given biographical material to read but could not take it with them.

 

SUNY's board adopted "guidelines" for presidential searches rather than "strict mandates," said system spokesman David Henahan, because each is unique and there has to be flexibility. UAlbany spokesman Karl Luntta said late Thursday: "We followed a process consistent with guidelines for a presidential search. Beyond that we're not going to comment."

 

But search committee chair Daniel Tomson, writing in a Jan. 21 search update on the school's Web site, said plans were under way "for the short list of finalists to meet with representatives of UAlbany faculty, student, staff, Foundation and Alumni constituencies. In order to retain these high quality finalists and to protect their positions in their present institutions, the search committee has established the provision that the finalist interviews will occur with a condition of complete confidentiality and discretion."

 

Physics professor William Lanford, a member of the University Senate who has not participated in the candidate interviews, said he had mixed feelings.

 

"While I'm a bit uncomfortable with that process, if the old process wasn't working, I'd rather they try something new," he said. "We hired Kermit Hall with a public process ... If we can get someone of comparable qualities, I'll be delighted and won't care about the process."

 

UAlbany has spent more on headhunters than Hall's $280,000 starting salary. It burned $185,565 on the first firm and is now paying more consultants $157,620.

 

Tough budget decisions won't be the new president's only challenge. They will take over an institution anxious to rise from the third to the first tier in the undergraduate category of the U.S. News & World Report's rankings. UAlbany also wants to reach the front rank of SUNY's university centers.

 

Its graduate programs in fields like public policy, sociology and criminal justice have placed high in rankings and the nanotechnology college was named No. 1.

 

But UAlbany has lagged behind some of its SUNY rivals in attracting top students. Fifteen percent of freshman had a high school class rank in the top tenth of their graduating class, compared with 49 percent at Binghamton.

 

All five contenders either declined to confirm their candidacies or did not respond to messages by deadline.

 

Marc Parry can be reached at 454-5057 or by e-mail at mparry@timesunion.com.

 

The candidates

 

Richard Wells: Chancellor and professor of sociology, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh ... provost and vice president of academic affairs at Indiana State University for eight years ... recently finished term on NCAA Division III Presidents' Council.

 

Barbara Couture: Senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of english, University of Nebraska-Lincoln ... won award for book, "Toward a Phenomenological Rhetoric: Writing, Profession and Altruism" ... on editorial boards of three academic journals.

 

Ronald M. Berkman: Executive vice president and provost for academic affairs, Florida International University ... dean of academic affairs, City University of New York, from 1992-94 ... taught at Princeton University and Brooklyn College ... has frequently appeared as commentator on CNN.

 

Madhavi Beheruz Sethna: President, University of West Georgia ... also professor of business administration ... master's degrees from Clarkson and Columbia ... started career as teacher for multiply handicapped children in Canton, N.Y. ... technology volunteer for three Olympic Games.

 

David L. Felten: Vice president for research and medical director, Beaumont Hospitals ... was dean of the school of graduate medical education at Seton Hall University ... was undergrad at MIT ... professor and chair at University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

 

News Research Director Sarah J. Hinman

 

 

ASP ARTICLE

 

Committee closes in on presidential pick

 

By: Chris Mueller

 

Posted: 2/10/09

 

The University at Albany Presidential Search Committee and representatives of the UAlbany community interviewed five candidates over the past two weeks in what could be the end of a two-year search for a new leader, a source close to the interview process said.

 

About two dozen faculty, staff, students and alumni met in secret at the SUNY administration building in downtown Albany with each of the candidates, the source said. Under strict conditions of confidentiality, each candidate was then interviewed for about an hour, after which the interviewers filled out a survey and gave a short summary of what they thought of each candidate to the search committee.

 

The source, who requested anonymity because of the confidentiallity agreement, confirmed the following people are candidates and were interviewed for the position:

 

• Beheruz N. Sethna, president of the University of West Georgia

 

• David L. Felten, vice president for research and medical director of the Beaumont Research Institute in Royal Oak, Michigan

 

• Richard H. Wells, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

 

• Barbara Couture, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

• Ronald M. Berkman, executive vice president and provost for academic affairs at Florida International University

 

The search committee will use the information from the interviews to make a recommendation to the University Council. The council will then make a recommendation to the SUNY chancellor and board of trustees, who will make the final decision.

 

The source did not know when the committee will make its recommendation. "We could hear this week, or this month. I expect the search committee and University Council has already made a recommendation and forwarded it to SUNY."

 

"Beheruz Sethna was a hands down favorite among some of the different groups of people that met all [the] candidates, including myself," the source said. "After that, there was no clear 2nd, 3rd, 4th [or] 5th choice."

 

UAlbany spokesman Karl Luntta would not comment on the candidates or the presidential search.

 

"The committee is following a process that is consistent with guidelines for a presidential search," he said.

 

Some of the candidates may drop out because the promise of confidentiality was broken when the Times Union published a list of their names, the source said.

 

"These candidates interviewed on a condition of confidentiality, and since that has been breached it wouldn't surprise me if some dropped out," the source said. "For example, Felten, Wells and Sethna have very comfortable jobs and don't need this job."

 

This is the second time in under a year Wells has been a finalist for a university leadership position. In April, he was a finalist for the chancellor position at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

 

In April 2007, Wells was the subject of controversy when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article about how Wells and the university encouraged students to use new student identification cards that doubled as debit and ATM cards.

 

In order to receive the card, students had to open an account with U.S. Bank, who subsequently charged students higher fees than any other local bank, according to the Sentinel Journal. At the time, Wells sat on U.S. Bank's local advisory board.

 

"I personally really liked Wells and his accomplishments at Oshkosh," the source said. "I felt he was a close second, but others were concerned about this issue."

 

UAlbany has been without an official president since its 17th president, Kermit Hall, drowned on Aug. 13, 2006 at his vacation home in South Carolina.

 

After Hall's death, Susan Herbst, UAlbany's provost and vice president for academic affairs, took over as officer in charge until she left for a top administrative job in Georgia's public university system at the end of October 2007.

 

Current Interim President George Philip was appointed to the position on Nov. 27, 2007 by the SUNY Board of Trustees.

© Copyright 2009 Albany Student Press

Edited by Zalman B
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Regardless of the source of the original story, apparently this had a very negative impact on the process. Who knows, had that story not run we may have had a new president today?

 

Seems this process is cursed.

Edited by ATL_DANE
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FWIW SUNY Empire State College apparently had no problem searching for, and finding, a president even with myriad of factors (interim chancellor, economic downturn, etc) we're all familiar with.

 

 

http://alumni.esc.edu/inauguration/aboutdrdavis.php

 

Here's the news release from SUNY...

The hire was voted on and announced almost immediately afterward.

 

 

http://www.suny.edu/sunynews/News.cfm?filn...Davis%20ESC.htm

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FWIW SUNY Empire State College apparently had no problem searching for, and finding, a president even with myriad of factors (interim chancellor, economic downturn, etc) we're all familiar with.

 

 

http://alumni.esc.edu/inauguration/aboutdrdavis.php

 

Here's the news release from SUNY...

The hire was voted on and announced almost immediately afterward.

 

 

http://www.suny.edu/sunynews/News.cfm?filn...Davis%20ESC.htm

 

Thanks for finding the original annoucement; by my count it was 15 months from the departure of the previous president to the appointment of Davis.

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This is a link to Tuesday's Board of Trustees meeting.

I haven't watched it yet, but here it is.

 

 

http://www.suny.edu/Board_of_Trustees/meet...rchivedPage=Y#b

 

http://suny.mediasite.com/suny/Viewer/View...playerType=WM7#

 

 

With all of the media there and nothing reported, I assume not even a morsel was mentioned about the UAlbany presidency.

Edited by uofalbany
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This is a link to Tuesday's Board of Trustees meeting.

I haven't watched it yet, but here it is.

 

 

http://www.suny.edu/Board_of_Trustees/meet...rchivedPage=Y#b

 

http://suny.mediasite.com/suny/Viewer/View...playerType=WM7#

 

 

With all of the media there and nothing reported, I assume not even a morsel was mentioned about the UAlbany presidency.

 

Unless there was a vote, it's likely that nothing would be mentioned in the media..all personnel matters prior to BOT approval are discussed in Executive Session before the start of the open meeting.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Stony Brook is getting a new President after only 7 months. If anyone thinks we haven't fallen seriously behind the two "Flagships" they are living in a fantasy world.

 

 

 

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/suffolk/...0,5121117.story

 

At Stony Brook, nothing is politicized as much as it is here. Where did we go wrong!?!? And why can't we just give the permanent title to Philip for the sake of ending this search?

 

I still think closing the school for a year to show all the idiots in the Capital District (about 95%) of the population the economic impact of UAlbany might be the way to get it into their numbskulls.

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Where are we at in this process? Last I heard, everyone pulled out. This whole thing is a disgrace....what are we going on THHHHREEEEE YEARS?

 

How does this void in permanent leadership not evoke some outrage from the faculty, staff and students.

 

Simply boggles the mind!

 

SB, 7 month's done deal, other schools have hired presidents over the last couple of years. We are badly broken at the very core, completely inept as we can't even hire a president. Certainly not an easy task but not a task that should take a half a decade.

 

DISGUSTING!

Edited by bosiydid
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A few things:

 

1. sad

2. Where in the world is SBU getting the money to pay this guy:

A salary is yet to be finalized, but it is likely that Stanley will be paid substantially more than Kenny, who earned $427,300, including her public salary, private funding and a retirement annuity

3. That is an unbelievable hire for him. Washington U is an unbelievable school.

 

I want to write a note to someone but who should the note go to? It's not Philip's deal. There is no contact info on the presedential search website that I can find. Anybody have any suggestions?

Edited by danefan
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