Search for UVM’s 26th president underway

The search for a new president is heating up.   The Presidential Search Committee has already found roughly 20 candidates and will now begin the process of narrowing down the list, according to Gary Derr, vice president for executive operations.   “There will be seriously valuable candidates and there will be other [less qualified candidates],” Derr said.   The names of the candidates will be confidential until the final four come to campus for interviews in January, he said.   The committee is working very closely with Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm to assist the search, according to University Communications.   Isaacson, Miller will look for candidates from large public liberal arts research universities, Derr said.   While Isaacson, Miller, was contracted to do the search, nominations from the UVM community are also valued, he said.   Students will meet the final four candidates in January and the entire campus community will get to interview the candidates, Derr said.   After the candidates come to UVM, there will be an online feedback system for students, faculty, staff and administration to voice their opinion of the candidates, he said.   “The [Presidential] Search Committee developed what they’ve called, ‘an invitation to apply,’ or the leadership profile for the presidential search,” Derr said. “We did this based on the campus forums we’ve had, the online information survey and interview after interview.”   Respondents said that they wanted a leader who is approachable, communicative and willing to learn, listen and understand the needs of the UVM community, according to the invitation.   “This is an outstanding opportunity for a visionary leader to build on the exceptional strengths and unique characteristics of UVM to effect positive, transformative change and to advance the University,” the invitation stated.               “UVM seeks a new president who resonates with the state’s values of sincerity, openness and civic commitment and embraces the opportunity to be a member of Vermont’s community.”   Last spring, a presidential search survey received 154 responses from alumni, faculty, staff, students and community members.   “Within these voices of the participants, the 26th president will find the building blocks for a strategic vision and direction for the institution,” according to the survey.