Presidential Search: Process
What is the process for selecting a new president?
The College Council is given the responsibility to form a search committee to conduct the search for the new president.
The search committee consists of representatives from campus constituencies including:
- Four members of the College Council
- Six elected faculty members
- One professional staff
- One student
- One alumni
- One Foundation Board
- One Academic Dean
Also serving on the committee is an incumbent or retired SUNY president from another campus or a member of the Chancellor’s senior staff designated by the Chancellor. In addition, a Chancellor’s Liaison and a Campus Liaison serve as non-voting members.
The search committee is charged with vetting and recommending candidates to the SUNY Delhi College Council who then select three finalists to recommend to the SUNY Chancellor and SUNY Board of Trustees.
Who are the search committee members and how are the chair and the search committee members selected?
The College Council Chair appoints the search committee, with the Council Chair typically serving as chair of the search. The Council chair asks campus and community groups, including the campus governance leader, to submit recommendations for positions on the search committee other than the six faculty positions, which are elected.
The list of search committee members can be found here.
How is the search conducted?
As required in the SUNY Search Guidelines, a search firm was selected to assist in the presidential search process. The College Council had the option to forego a full RFP process and instead hire a firm to provide a limited set of recruiting services, thus creating cost savings for the campus.
SUNY Delhi retained RPA, Inc. to assist with the presidential search. RPA Inc. is a nationally recognized comprehensive executive search and consulting firm, founded in 1988. With over three decades of service to higher education, the firm has established a record of success in recruitment and search facilitation across all levels of senior administration. RPA Inc. is dedicated to the philosophy that a recruitment effort is an opportunity to positively impact the future of an institution. The firm’s guiding objective is to develop a full understanding of each institution it serves and to identify and seek out professionals whose skill sets, values, and personal characteristics most closely match the needs and values of the institution. RPA also brings deep experience with searches in the SUNY system. The RPA team is led by Dana John Cohick, president of RPA Inc.
The search firm will work with the search committee and Zulaika Rodriguez, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Presidential Searches in the Chancellor’s office to develop the job description, the required and preferred qualifications for the position, as well as the campus prospectus that describes the college, including its current strengths, opportunities, and challenges and information about the SUNY system. The firm then places advertisements and conducts active outreach nationally to recruit a large, talented and diverse pool of qualified candidates to be considered by the committee.
Once the search committee selects the semi-finalists, the Chancellor’s office will conduct extensive background interviews on pre-qualified applicants in order to find the best candidates to serve the college and its needs.
The search committee will review the pool and their materials and ultimately select 8–12 candidates who will be interviewed virtually. From this group, five finalists will be selected and invited to campus to interview with a variety of stakeholder groups.
The Chancellor’s Office will work with the search committee to conduct extensive background checks and references on all finalists.
The finalists are evaluated and all acceptable candidates are presented, with evaluations from the search committee, first to the College Council, and then upon approval of the College Council, to the Chancellor. At least three acceptable finalist candidates are presented to the Chancellor. The names of the finalist candidates are sent to the Chancellor unranked—hence leaving the ultimate decision to the Chancellor.
How long will the search take?
The schedule and duration of the search will be determined by the Council Chair and the Chancellor’s office. Searches typically take several months to complete.
What is the approval process after the campus and College Council review?
The Chancellor interviews the candidates. Candidates are asked to provide a presentation to the Chancellor’s Executive Leadership team followed by Q&A, which is recorded for the Trustees to review as part of their materials.
The Chancellor makes a recommendation to the Board of Trustees. A smaller subgroup of the Board interviews the candidate. Upon completion and approval by the subcommittee, the final candidate will be voted on by the Full Board of Trustees.
How do I share my thoughts about the search, send nominations, or apply?
The search firm and the search committee welcome your thoughts on the search. If you wish to share your views or have any questions on process, please Zulaika.Rodriguez@suny.edu.
Please submit all nominations and applications directly to RPA.