The Georgia Regents University Presidential Search Committee met for the first time today in a fifth-floor conference room at the College of Dental Medicine to discuss the search process and share the qualities they wanted to see in the new president.
The 21-person committee was joined by Hank Huckaby, Chancellor of the University System of Georgia, who told the group they were chosen for their balanced viewpoint as well as their strong commitment to GRU, two qualities that were important for the difficult but crucial task ahead.
“The effort we are about here in beginning the search for a president of a research university is different than the search process for the nonresearch universities and colleges in our system,” he said. “I think it’s different because it speaks to the very high importance that we hold to this journey that you’re embarking on. That’s why you have seven regents on this committee and it’s chaired by a regent.
Regent James M. Hull, a local philanthropist, businessman, and the namesake for the James M. Hull College of Business, is committee chairman, and he started the meeting off by listing the qualities he would like to see in the next president. Among the attributes like strong leadership, a commitment to academic excellence, patient care, and research, and the ability to be a strong fundraiser, Hull spoke passionately of the vision and enthusiasm the new president would need to fully embrace the possibilities of the state’s newest comprehensive research university.
“Finally,” he added, “an additional characteristic – one that’s very important to me – that I think a great leader should have is a high emotional intelligence quotient; that is, an ability to approach issues calmly and with empathy, allowing our president to be productive and very effective.”
The committee has engaged the services of Parker Executive Search to run the search. First, a pool of candidates will be created for the committee to evaluate. That list will be narrowed to roughly eight, whom the committee will interview. From there, a list of three to five finalists will be sent to the full Board of Regents, who will conduct their own interviews and make the final decision.
Huckaby said he was hoping for a decision by July 1, though he admitted that might not be a realistic goal, considering the importance and complexity of the process.
The emphasis, he said, was on finding the best candidate