The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday December 8th

NCCU Starts Chancellor Search

DURHAM - Members of N.C. Central University's Chancellor Search Committee continued working to identify characteristics a new chancellor would need during open forums Monday and Tuesday.

Longtime Chancellor Julius Chambers will resign at the end of the 2001 spring semester.

The forums included discussion of the search process and of the next chancellor's role in the university.

The committee also heard student concerns regarding the next chancellor at a meeting Monday.

There were no students in attendance during the Tuesday forum.

The executive search firm of Heidrick and Struggles will conduct the search process along with members of the NCCU search committee.

Lisa Fisher, spokeswoman for Heidrick and Struggles, said she was surprised at the level of misunderstanding that students who attended the forum Monday had regarding the chancellor's role.

"Communicate, communicate, communicate," Fisher said, reiterating one goal of the committee.

Discussion at the forum ranged from the impact a new chancellor will have on university curriculum to how a new chancellor will financially manage the university.

Search committee Chairman William Smith said the group is looking for someone who can handle both aspects of the job.

"This is an open search," Smith said. "We want the best person to lead the university."

NCCU recently established a Web site for applicants to send in resumes.

From the resumes, the committee will select a pool of candidates, who will be interviewed by committee members in December.

The full search committee will interview the candidates, but each committee member will be assigned a specific area of questioning for the prospective chancellor.

The interview process should come to an end at the beginning of January, at which point the committee will select the new chancellor.

But Veronica Biggins, partner with Heidrick and Struggles, said there are no leading contenders for the position so far.

She also said the committee will be looking for candidates who have a clear vision for the future of the university.

Biggins added that it would be essential to review past actions of the candidates.

"The best method to anticipate what they will do in the future is to focus on their past," Biggins said.

But she said that while the committee is still in the candidate development phase, they have been impressed by the accomplishments of candidates that have applied so far.

"I am pleased with the quality of people who are interested at this time."

The State & National Editor can be reached at stntdesk@unc.edu.


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