Presidential Search Committee Update – February 27, 2017

This is our first update of 2017 and we hope the new year and the term are progressing well.

Since our last update, the bulk of our work has taken place.  Let me give you some sense of what has been going on.  Our search partners, Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette, have been in the market having conversations with a wide-ranging group of potential candidates.  In total, they have been in touch with over 210 potential candidates and sources for referrals.  From this broad pool, we had 64 firm applicants for the Presidency, all of whom were screened and interviewed by KBRS, and a list of the 10 most qualified candidates were presented to the Committee.  The total pool of applicants was reviewed by the Committee and we agreed that KBRS completed a thorough and comprehensive search for possible candidates.

During our long list meeting, the Committee identified a shorter list of candidates we wanted to see in person.  It is worthy of note that, educationally, all of the most qualified candidates presented possessed PhD degrees, substantial post-secondary leadership experience, and there was a good level of gender diversity amongst the list.

The Committee then conducted two rounds of interviews with the shortlist candidates.  The first round was focused on the candidate’s background and experience.  The second round focused on presentations by each candidate responding to a number of Acadia focused scenarios that we developed.  Each individual second-round interview took roughly 2 hours to complete.

Currently we are conducting references on candidates and narrowing the list to a small number of candidates whom we believe are best able to assume the Presidency of Acadia.  In all likelihood, we will be at the penultimate stage of on-campus meetings, followed by the opportunity to provide feedback on finalist candidates to the Committee, sometime in March/April with the candidate of choice being recommended to the Board shortly thereafter.

I want to acknowledge and thank the Committee members for their hard work and commitment on Acadia’s behalf.  It is demanding and challenging work and the Committee has worked extremely well together – lots of good questions, robust but respectful discussions, all focused on the end goal.  Weekends and evenings are the times when interviews are typically held and the Committee has been extremely cooperative and diligent.  Our candidate pool has been strong and we have learned that Acadia’s reputation in the national market is very positive.

We are approaching the delicate stage of getting this process over the finish line.  This is where the stress and strain is for the Committee.  Our collective focus since the beginning of the search process has been to ensure we get the right candidate and, equally important, ensuring we can attract that person.  We are “searching” but also recruiting.

So, that is where we are to date.  Stay tuned for more information as we reach the campus and decision stage.  And as always, if you have any questions or inquiries, please send them to us through the Contact link on the Presidential Search page of our website.

Warm regards

John Rogers, QC, ICD.D (’79)

Chair, Presidential Search Committee

Chair, Acadia University Board of Governors

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