Chancellor search committee narrows field

The 16-member search committee tasked with helping select Western Carolina University’s next chancellor met Tuesday, Feb. 15, to discuss the top candidates for the job and determine who will be invited to participate in off-campus interviews.

The committee, working with the Baker and Associates executive recruitment firm and with Ann Lemmon, associate vice president for human resources for the University of North Carolina system, met at the offices of AdvantageWest in Asheville to evaluate the candidate pool.

The committee will invite its top candidates to a series of “airport interviews” scheduled for March 4-6 in Atlanta.

During those interviews, committee members will ask questions that incorporate themes and concerns raised at November’s public forums, which were held to enable WCU’s constituent groups – faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members and fans of intercollegiate athletics – to have a voice in the search process. The questions will cover topics including leadership, management, financial management, strategic vision, student learning and research, external relations and fundraising, and faculty and staff issues.

The interviews will take place during closed session, in accordance with the state’s open meetings laws, which permit public bodies to go into closed session to consider the qualifications of prospective public officers or employees.

The committee is hoping to complete its work and recommend its top choices to the WCU Board of Trustees so that the board can forward the names of at least three nominees to Tom Ross, president of the University of North Carolina system. Ross then will present his recommendation to the full UNC Board of Governors for final consideration and approval.

Steve Warren, chair of the WCU Board of Trustees and chair of the search committee, said it is the goal to have a new chancellor named and ready to lead the university by July 1.

For more information, visit the search committee website at