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Presidential search process

Nov. 18, 2009: Board of Regents names Memorial’s next president

The position of president of Memorial University of Newfoundland is one of the most important roles in this province. Memorial has been blessed with great leaders through its accomplished history.

The process to find a new president of Memorial University is designed to be open, transparent and accountable, while maintaining the necessary confidentiality of potential candidates.

A Search Committee has been appointed by the Board of Regents, the membership of which is composed of representatives from among the following groups: the Board of Regents, faculty, students, academic and administrative deans and directors, and one member of the public-at-large.

The committee is advised by Janet Wright and Associates, the premier Canadian executive search firm that focuses on identifying senior-level leaders in the public-sector world of universities, hospitals and civic institutions.

The search process will include four phases:

Phase 1 - Search Preparations

• The Search Committee will conduct pre-search consultations with various individuals and groups at Memorial University.

• The Search Committee will finalize a presidential "position profile".

• Following this, advertisements will be placed in Canada and abroad.

Phase 2 - Recruitment of Candidates

• The Search Committee will conduct widespread recruitment activities.

• There will be the development of a preliminary candidate list, which will come as a result of applications, nominations and other direct-recruitment activities.

• There will be reference enquiries conducted and a reduction to a shorter list.

• Following that there will be confidential candidate discussions, as required.

Phase 3 - Evaluation Process

• The Search Committee will develop a short list of candidates that it wishes to interview.

• The Search Committee will review the results of further detailed reference enquiries and plan interview sessions.

• Short-list interviews will be conducted by the Search Committee.

Phase 4 – Decision [Confidentiality]

• The Search Committee will decide on its preferred candidate.

• Discussions with the candidate will be conducted, followed by provisional acceptance of the offer.

• The recommendation will be presented to the Board of Regents.

• The process is explicitly guided by the Memorial University Act (Section 51): "The president of the university will be appointed by the Board in consultation with the Senate and with the approval of the Lieutenant-governor in council."

In terms of time lines, university presidential searches both in Canada and abroad, normally take between six and 10 months to complete - that is, from the start of the search until the name of the successful candidate is made public. There may also be some lag time required from when that name is made public to when the successful candidate is available to take up the position of president of Memorial University.

For further information or to contact the committee, please contact