January 29, 1997


The special meeting of the State Board of Higher Education was called to order at 4:05 p.m. by President Herb Aschkenasy.

On roll call, the following answered present:

Ms. Diane Christopher
Mr. Tom Imeson
Ms. Gail McAllister
Mr. Les Swanson
Dr. Jim Whittaker
Mr. Jim Willis
Ms. Phyllis Wustenberg
Mr. John Wykoff
Dr. Herb Aschkenasy

Ms. Puentes was out of the state on family business.


President Aschkenasy reminded the Board that the purpose of the meeting was to approve the revised Board policy on "Presidential Search Process." He asked Chancellor Cox to review the nature of the changes that had been made.

Chancellor Cox, Dr. Thompson, and Board member Christopher explained that the proposed changes and refinements to the policy were a result of the experiences of the WOSC and OSU presidential searches. Members of those institutions' search and screening committees, as well as the new presidents, were consulted regarding needed changes. In addition, Chancellor Cox pointed out to the Board that he had met with approximately 120 members of the Portland State University community and had reviewed the proposed changes with them.

The policy, with proposed changes, follows. (NOTE: Strikeout denotes deletions; italics denote proposed additions.)


(Adopted by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, Meeting #535, March 21, 1986, pp. 122-130; amended Meeting #560, February 17, 1988, pp. 64-70, and; Meeting #570, October 21, 1988, pp. 564-570; Meeting #581, October 20, 1989, pp. 457-463; Meeting #623, October 22, 1993, pp. 500-508; Meeting #627, April 22, 1994, pp. 130-136. The process approved by the Board is presented below in narrative form. See also discussion, Meeting #558, December 18, 1987, pp. 602-609.)


The following policy outlines the process to be followed in the search for and selection of presidents for Oregon's eight seven public four-year colleges and universities. The purpose of the policy is to assure that the selection of institutional presidents is carried out in a clearly understood, timely, and effective manner. In designing the presidential search process, the State Board of Higher Education was guided by its Internal Management Directive 1.020(1), which provides that: "The Chancellor shall make recommendations to the Board, in which rests the sole power of decision, concerning the selection, appointment ... of Presidents...." In developing this policy, tThe Board has considered many factors including the traditions for selecting presidents in Oregon, institutional needs, resources, and leadership requirements. Particular attention was given to the difficult and frequently competing need for balancing the need to guarantee guaranteeing candidates' confidentiality to keep them in the search process and the desirability of having candidates meet a broad cross-section of the campus community. This policy on the presidential search process was first adopted by the State Board on March 21, 1986, and was modified on February 17, 1988, and on October 22, 1993, and April 22, 1994.

The Board

When it becomes necessary to hire a president, the Board, in consultation with the search committee, will review the current position description, and modify it, as appropriate. The Board will also , and develop a statement of preferred qualifications in consultation with the search committee. At the Board's direction, the Chancellor will, using the position description and preferred qualifications, initiate the procedures provided in this policy to identify candidates for consideration by the Board.

The Search Committee

A single search committee shall be responsible for assisting the Chancellor and the State Board by identifying and recruiting possible candidates for the position of president. The State Board retains the sole responsibility for the selection of institutional presidents. The direct costs of the presidential search shall be borne by the institution.

Members of the search committee shall be appointed by the Chancellor after consultation with Board leadership. The search committee shall be composed of three Board members, four faculty members, one student, one administrator, (and, at the universities, one dean), one classified or unclassified employee, a community member, and an alumni representative. The president of the Board shall recommend members of the Board to serve on the search committee. The appropriate faculty body or bodies of the institution shall be asked to nominate eight persons to the Chancellor, who will choose four to serve. The other four faculty members will be designated as alternates, to be called on only if those designated members are unable to serve on the search committee. Similarly, the president of the student body shall be invited to nominate two students, with one being chosen to serve and the other designated as an alternate. Administrators will be asked to nominate two campus administrators, typically deans, directors, or vice presidents, one to be named to the committee and one to serve as an alternate (at the universities, four will be nominated -- two administrators and two deans). Classified or unclassified employees will nominate two individuals, one of whom will serve as alternate. The community representative and alumni representative will be selected after the Chancellor consults with institutional officials and the alumni organization. The Chancellor, in consultation with institutional officials, may appoint an at-large community/alumni representative.

In selecting members of the search committee, the Chancellor shall be mindful of the desirability of having women and minority representation on the search having a diverse committee, especially from gender and cultural perspectives. Participation on a search committee is an extremely time-consuming commitment. Once presented with information on the search timeline, hours required, and level of confidentiality required, committee members will be asked again if they are willing (and able) to make the required commitment.

The president of the Board shall may serve ex-officio without vote. Unless a public meeting is announced, however, no more than five Board members quorum of the Board may be present at any search committee meeting. The president should retain the degree of detachment that will enable the exercise of impartial leadership through the final selection process.

The Chancellor and an affirmative action officer appointed by the Chancellor shall serve as consultants to the committee and may attend its meetings.

The Chancellor, in consultation with the president of the Board, shall appoint one of the Board members to serve as the committee chair. The chair shall convene all meetings of the committee. In order to keep the names of the candidates confidential, only the chair of the search committee or a designee shall speak on behalf of the committee to the press or others concerning the progress of the search.

Chancellor's Designee Liaison

The Chancellor shall appoint a vice chancellor or top-level staff person who shall serve as liaison between among the Board, the Chancellor's Office, the search committee, and the institution. The designee from the Chancellor's Office shall serve as a non-voting ex-officio on the committee and will assist in identifying the campus search coordinator, interpreting Board policy relative to the search process, and assure that the search process moves along in a timely manner.

The Search Coordinator

The vice chancellor Chancellor's designee, in consultation with the search committee chair, the president of the institution, and the Chancellor, may will appoint a search coordinator whose who will coordinate all staffing for the search committee. The duties will include: (1) handling all of the logistics involved with the meetings of the search committee meeting logistics, including making appropriate arrangements for the visits of candidates; (2) preparing correspondence for the committee and the chair; (3) maintaining the records and files and keeping minutes of search committee meetings. Although not a voting members of the search committee, the coordinator and the vice chancellor Chancellor's designee are expected to attend most of the search committee meetings.

The Charge

The Chancellor shall give the search committee a written charge spelling out describing the committee's responsibilities and authority. The charge should include an approximate date for the committee to submit its nominations to the Chancellor, the number of candidates to be recommended, and the information the committee should provide on each candidate.

The Responsibilities of the Search Committee

1. Review Statement of Qualifications

The search committee, after consulting with the Board in the Board's development of a job position description and statement of qualifications, should review the Board's position description and statement of qualifications and recommend any modifications. The committee shall invite comments from concerned groups and individuals (faculty, students, administrators, alumni, members of the community, etc.). The committee chair shall then consult with the Board regarding any search committee recommendations for changes. Based on the comments received, the Chancellor's designee will finalize the position description and statement of qualifications.

The statement of qualifications, along with the institution's mission statement, excerpts from the State Board's Administrative Rules and Internal Management Directives concerning the authority and responsibilities of the president, and other descriptive materials about the institution should be sent to all nominees and applicants for the position.

2. Solicit Nominations and Applications

Based on material received by the search committee from the Board, a A vacancy announcement shall be prepared by the coordinator, based on materials received by the search committee from the Board. and approved by the search committee. At a minimum, iIt shall appear in at least two weekly issues of the Chronicle of Higher Education, and one issue each of Black Issues in Higher Education and Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education. Nominations shall be sought aggressively from institutional faculty and students, other State System presidents and personnel, regional and national educational leaders, regional and national educational organizations, and other leaders in the community, state, and nation.

Advertisements for the position shall include a deadline for the submission of applications and nominations. The search committee, in consultation with the Chancellor's designee, shall decide the deadlines for the receipt of materials needed by the committee to assure its screening of candidates who meet the deadline.

3. Screen

The task of the search committee is to recommend to the Chancellor three to five people, any one of whom would be satisfactory to the search committee to be the next president of the institution.

The screening process is divided typically into four five distinct stages. The first screening consists of reviewing applications and nominations and identifying those that meet the minimum qualifications for the position. If there are relatively few applicants, the entire committee may participate in this stage of the screening process. If there are a large number of applicants, the committee may choose to use one or more subcommittees to undertake the initial screening.

The second stage of the screening process involves a more thorough review of the those candidates meeting who meet the minimum requirements for the position. References are checked and the committee may choose to talk with some of the candidates by telephone. The goal at this stage is to narrow the list of candidates down to 10-15 15-20 candidates (referred to as the quarter-finalists) who will be given careful consideration by the committee.

The third stage is critical for the success of the process. The search committee needs to collect a great deal of information about the remaining 10-15 15-20 candidates quarter-finalists and, at the same time, assure that the names of the candidates remain confidential in order to keep them in the pool. At this stage, the committee may talk to the candidates, talk to references, send one or more members to visit candidates, or if necessary, invite candidates to meet the campus search committee. The goal at this stage is to identify a group of 8-10 semi-finalists who will be invited to campus Oregon for interviews.

The fourth stage occurs wWhen the semi-finalists (approximately eight) are invited to the campus Oregon for interviews,. T the search committee shall be responsible for the campus visit. At this stage it is important to protect the confidentiality of the candidates by keeping meetings as private as possible. Typically, each candidate will be interviewed by the search committee, a campus screening committee, the Chancellor, and a limited number of other people who can assist the search committee with its evaluation of the candidate.

The campus screening committee is advisory to the search committee and shall be selected by it. At this stage of the search process, it is important to increase the number of campus people who meet and interview candidates. The screening committee shall the search committee and consist of six faculty members, three department heads, three deans or directors, and two students (one of whom should be a graduate student, if appropriate), a senior academic administrator, and a representative from the unclassified or unclassified service personnel. The search committee shall seek nominations for the campus screening committee from appropriate campus organizations. In selecting members of the screening committee, the search committee shall be mindful of having a diverse committee, especially from gender and cultural perspectives. The search committee shall establish the time, place, format, and confidentiality of meetings of candidates and the campus screening committee. The campus screening committee is advisory to the search committee. The chair of the screening committee shall be appointed by the search committee.

The role of the screening committee chair will be to convene and prepare agendas for meetings of the screening committee, act as convener for the interviews with candidates, and assure that a final report of recommendations is prepared from the screening committee to the search committee. At an organizational meeting of the screening committee, three major topics will be covered:

a. Critical importance of confidentiality;

b. The role of the screening committee as advisory to the search committee. Members are prohibited from making contacts with candidates and his/her references; and

c. The form of the report of recommendations to be prepared for the search committee.

The complete files of the semi-finalist candidates will be made available to the screening committee as it prepares for the interviews. The screening committee should provide the search committee with a written evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of all of the semi-finalists it has interviewed within 24 hours of the final interview. The report shall not rank order the candidates. The chair of the search committee may choose not to accept the report if the procedures are not followed. Once the report has been made, the work of the screening committee is finished.

The campus screening committee should not rank candidates. It should provide the search committee with an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of all the semi-finalists it interviews.

The fourth During the fifth and final stage, the search committee will identify consists of selecting three to five finalists and preparing the search committee's prepare a report to the Chancellor regarding the finalists.

4. Recommend

Following the campus Oregon interviews, the search committee shall recommend three to five finalists to the Chancellor. The search committee's recommendations should be accompanied by a detailed report on the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate, especially in terms of the desired qualifications for the position. The report may include summaries of the evaluations of the campus screening committee and other individuals and groups who provided information about the candidates to the search committee. The recommendations from the search committee shall be unranked.

Campus Visit and Board Selection

When the Chancellor receives the search committee's recommendations and report, the following events will occur:

Following the Board's interviews with the finalists, the Board shall meet in executive session to rank the nominees in priority order and to direct the Chancellor to negotiate with the Board's first choice. If the first choice does not accept the Board's offer, the Chancellor shall seek further advice from the Board before contacting the second choice.

When the Chancellor has negotiated an acceptable appointment, the Board shall hold a special or regular meeting, which is open to the public, to vote on the selection of a president.

Board Discussion and Action

No disagreement was expressed about any of the proposed changes.

Ms. Christopher moved and Ms. McAllister seconded the motion to approve the recommended changes in the Board policy on "Presidential Search Process." On roll call, the following voted in favor: Directors Christopher, Imeson, McAllister, Swanson, Whittaker, Willis, Wustenberg, Wykoff, and Aschkenasy. Those voting no: none.


Dr. Aschkenasy reported that he was not ready at this time to name the three Board members he would recommend to serve on the PSU Presidential Search Committee. It is anticipated that Chancellor Cox would announce the whole committee on Monday, February 3, 1997.


The Board meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.

Virginia L. Thompson, Secretary of the Board

Herb Aschkenasy, President of the Board