Following the recent news of President David Adamany’s retirement, the presidential search committee held meetings last week to allow students, faculty members, staff and alumni to give their opinions about what characteristics they would like to see in a new president.
On Jan. 31, William Funk, director of the Korn/Ferry International executive search firm, questioned the students and faculty who attended the search committee meetings about what they are looking for in a candidate.
Students said they were concerned with housing and the decrease in diversity, as well as increasing the social and academic opportunities at Temple. The students in attendance also asked the committee to find a president who can help keep tuition down.
A new president will come as a welcome change from the tense relations that have plagued communication between the administration and the faculty, according to Jane Evans, president of the Faculty Senate and faculty representative on the presidential search committee
“We need someone who’s willing to listen to all of the constituents and who’s able to mend the fences, since recently there has been an uproar between the administration and faculty, [and] sometimes even between the administration and students, which hasn’t been perceived as helpful,” Evans said. “I think they’re [the faculty] looking forward to this change from the top, especially if it means these relations can be repaired.”
University insiders have said there are three internal candidates that the search committee has already begun to consider. Robert Reinstein, the dean of the Beasley School of Law; M. Moshe Porat, the dean of the Fox School of Business and Management; and Joseph W. “Chip” Marshall, a Board of Trustees member, have all been named as potential replacements for President Adamany.
Students, like Kim Sweeney, said the emphasis at Temple has been taken away from the students.
“I think the candidate should be more personable,” Sweeney said. “When I transferred here, I came from a small school where the focus was more on the student. Here, I think they’re more focused on the buildings instead of the students.”
This means that potential candidates should understand “both sides to the coin,” Oscar Chow, Temple Student Government president and student representative on the committee, said.
Chow said the new president should understand both the academic and social aspects of Temple.
All of these issues will be considered as the presidential search committee begins the search for Temple’s next president. Representatives for faculty, administration, trustees and students have a difficult road ahead of them to find a new president in an ambitious timeline, Funk said.
Unlike other presidential searches, which typically last six months, Temple is set to announce the new president by the end of May. Funk said he believes it can be accomplished if committee members commit to the task ahead.
Funk plans to ask civic leaders, alumni, education associations and committee members to play an active role in nominating candidates.
The committee will then begin the six- to eight-week process of picking a pool of around 50 to 60 candidates that will then be narrowed down to 10 to 15 candidates.
Background checks will be made on the committee members, and select candidates will then be asked to come to Philadelphia to be interviewed.
The remaining candidates will be asked to sign release forms so the committee can do criminal and credit references. They will also be asked for non-direct references, meaning that the committee can call whomever they want.
The committee will then meet with the board to select the one to three remaining candidates who will be brought to campus to be interviewed by their constituents.
The board will make its final decision, and a new president will be named.
Funk said the committee is committed to quality.
“The committee has told me that they want to be right, not quick,” Funk said. “We won’t select someone just to select someone.”
For Funk, the ideal candidate is someone who is concerned with students and who is ready to make a difference at Temple.
“My experience has been that really good people take these jobs because they feel that they can make a difference,” Funk said.
“Temple is on the move and I think I can sincerely say to them you can make a difference, you can provide leadership, and you can make a great institute even better.”
Erin Schlesing can be reached at email@example.com.