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Update On UWF's Presidential Search


  The University of West Florida is moving closer to a decision on a new president. On July 22 the UWF Presidential search Committee held their third meeting to update the search process. Mort O’Sullivan is the Vice Chair of the UWF Board of Trustees and the Chairman of the Presidential Search Committee.  He says things are progressing as planned. "We mapped out a very detailed time schedule and we are on pace with what we laid out for our timetable."

At the time of the meeting, 61 people had either submitted their application or been nominated for the position of UWF President. Other than names that were reported in the media, no one on the committee had seen any of those applications or knew any of the names. Greenwood-Asher and Associates, the committee’s search consultant company, kept the information until this week. The search committee received the information on Monday, July 25. The list of names being considered could still grow. "We were told by our search consultants today that most presidential searches have candidates coming in at the last minute. So it was estimated in our meeting today that the 61 that we have today could grow to 80 or more."

The deadline for applicants to submit their name for consideration is August 15. Though Mort O’Sullivan, who has also served on the search committees for the last two UWF presidents, says it’s not a drop dead deadline.

"[August 15 is] the best day by which to submit. It could go up to the day of our board meeting in September where we're going to select a president. I don't expect it, but they've told us that somewhere in our country there have been names that come in on the day of the board meeting."

For now, let’s assume that’s not going to happen. The next meeting of the search committee will be August 16, the day after the deadline. At that meeting the committee will split up into groups and each group will review material on a dozen or so candidates. O'Sullivan says that meeting be an all day affair. After that first round of breakouts a spokesman for each group will recommend names from the list they have been considering. Then the entire committee will discuss the merits of those candidates. "At the conclusion of that day, we will make a selection of anywhere from 8 to 12 of those candidates [to extend] an invitation to come on campus for one hour meetings on August 29 and 30."

Things should move quickly from there. After the in person interviews, at least three candidates will be invited back for second interviews on September 12 through the 14. The committee will then present three candidates to the Board of Trustees on the morning of September 15. Later that day, if all goes according to plan, the board will select the new president of the University of West Florida.  

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.