Dr. Don Rice, chairman of the search committee assembled by the University System of Georgia, said the meeting will be Dec. 11 from 6-7 p.m. at the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center.
“We had a similar townhall meeting on campus a couple of months ago to get input from the faculty and staff,” Rice said. “And now, we want to do the same thing with the people of Carrollton and Carroll County.”
Rice will conduct the meeting, which has been designed to introduce the 18 committee members, explain the process of selecting possible replacements for the retiring Dr. Beheruz Sethna and give an update on the search’s progress.
“This community is a major stakeholder in this process and the outcome of this process,” Rice said. “We’d like to hear what attributes and characteristics they would like to see in the next UWG president.”
About half of the 18 committee members are community and business leaders, which Rice said shows how invested the university is in the place it’s located.
“We would like to open it up to the audience to collect information on what attributes and characteristics they would like to see in a new president,” Rice said. “And we also want to update everyone on where we are in the process and where we’re headed in the coming months. It’s a confusing process, so we’d like to have a chance to explain it in an open forum.”
At the conclusion of its work, the campus committee will forward the credentials of three to five unranked candidates to the Regents’ Search Committee, who is responsible for recommending finalists to Chancellor Hank Huckaby, who will make a recommendation to the full Board of Regents.
During the Presidential Search and Screening Committee’s first public meeting in October, the members met to discuss what characteristics they would like to see in those applying for the presidency.
Common characteristics and skills the participants saw as important included a president connected to the community, a “cheerleader” for the university, a willing listener, an avid fundraiser and a visionary, Rice said.
The Board of Regents selected the committee members in late September, selecting 18 student, faculty and community members, including representatives from numerous departments on campus, the Student Government Association, MetroBank, Carrollton Orthopaedic, Ra-Lin Construction and Smith Conerly LLP.
As the committee begins the search process, members will take the qualifications and skills set forth in meetings like the one on Tuesday and create an advertisement for the position.
Applicants will be screened by the committee and narrowed to a field of 10 candidates, who will all meet in Atlanta for the first round of interviews. Six or seven candidates will then be chosen to visit the UWG campus and interact with faculty, staff and students. Three to five of those visiting candidates will then make it to the Regents’ Search Committee, which will recommend finalists to the chancellor, who will make a final recommendation to the full Board of Regents.
Sethna announced his retirement in August and has set his last day at work as president for June 30, 2013.
Sethna’s 19 years on UWG’s campus will not end with his retirement, however. He plans to continue his work as a professor of business administration.
Sethna, currently the longest-serving university president in Georgia, among both public and private institutions, said the decision was “very difficult,” and included some personal considerations.
“I have worked at this job approximately 20 hours a day, seven days a week, 360 days a year, to the detriment of all other parts of my life,” he said in an email to faculty and staff announcing his retirement in August. “The time has come for me to realize that there actually exists a world outside of my UWG world.”