Chancellor search rejects public visits
(Jan. 22, 2001)
The Chancellor Search Committee at East Carolina University has decided against public sessions for finalists for the position.
The committee, meeting last week (Jan. 19), turned down a motion to invite the three finalists to make public visits after members decided that such a plan could result in the loss of candidates who have applied for the post.
Faculty Senate chairman Robert Morrison, a chemistry professor, offered the motion to invite the finalists when they are identified "so that faculty, staff and the community can have a chance to meet them."
He said that the plan would let faculty become more involved in the process.
Betty Speir of Greenville, a member of the search committee and of the ECU Board of Trustees, said that such a plan could cause the committee to lose candidates. Greenville attorney Phillip R. Dixon, chair of both the committee and the ECU Board of Trustees, agreed. Dixon also said that the committee has held six public forums to gather input on candidates and that the faculty and staff were well represented on the search panel.
The motion drew only three favorable votes.
The committee's deliberations and interviews have taken place in closed sessions, and the panel, following the recommendation of University of North Carolina President Molly Broad, has not released the names of the candidates. The committee will present its recommendations to the ECU board, which, in turn, will send names to President Broad. She will select the new chancellor for confirmation by the UNC Board of Governors.
Dixon said in December that all remaining candidates have been invited to visit the campus quietly. He said they have also been offered the opportunity to meet with any other campus or community person if they so desire.
The 15-member committee includes four faculty members as well as trustees and representatives of students, staff members and alumni. Richard Eakin, ECU's chancellor since 1987, will retire this spring after his successor is named.
The search panel will hold its next meeting on Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 29 and 30 at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley. The Monday session begins at 10 a.m. The ECU Board of Trustees will also meet on Tuesday at the Crabtree Marriott in Raleigh to hear a report at 1 p.m. from the Chancellor Search Committee. The meetings for both groups will be held in closed session.