Administrators at UNC-Wilmington are asking students to voice credentials of their ideal leader, but so far, they have had little luck with participation.
The university held an open forum last week and invited students and community members to attend and share their opinions on what characteristics and qualities the university’s next chancellor should possess.
Wendy Murphy, chairwoman of the chancellor’s search committee and the university’s Board of Trustees, said few students took advantage of the opportunity.
“It was a very light turnout,” Murphy said. “I don’t know if it was related to the fact that it was the last day of classes; I’m not sure. We probably had 10 to 15 students.”
Murphy said that while the chancellor search committee is asking for input, the public will not be involved in the selection of the next chancellor.
“Candidates do not want to let other people know that they are searching for another job, so the searches are going to be closed,” Murphy said.
The search committee for the next UNC-W chancellor consists of 15 members from the community and the school’s Board of Trustees. One of those members is Student Body President Matt Victory.
Victory said student input will help the committee make a list of characteristics and qualities that the public wants in its next school leader. The committee’s recommendations are due by Dec. 10. The chancellor search committee will then find potential candidates who fit these qualities.
UNC-system President-elect Thomas Ross will make a final decision by April.
Victory said he’s noticed a lot of student interest on campus, but worries the lack of participation might stem from students not knowing what a chancellor’s job entails.
Julie Hines, a freshman biology major at UNC-W, said she did not know students could get involved in the process of choosing the next chancellor and does not think her input will affect the decision.
Despite the lack of participation in the recent forum, Keith Fraser, a member of the student senate at UNC-W, said the school is trying to advertise the importance of student participation in the process of choosing a new chancellor.
“We have activity calendars and Facebook groups,” Fraser said. “Communication to students is very obvious.”
Fraser said he hopes the next chancellor will continue with Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo’s current policies.
DePaolo will step down June 30.
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