111, Technical College Presidents – Selection

111.1 Purpose

To provide for the search for and selection of technical college presidents by the Utah Board of Higher Education.

111.2 Approval

Board of Higher Education approval: January 12, 2017. Revised: September 13, 2017; March 15, 2018; September 19, 2019.

111.3 References

UCA 53B-2a-107, Technical College Presidents – Appointments – Duties
UCA 53B-4, Open and Public Meetings Act
UTech Policy 110, Technical College President Functions
UTech Policy 113, Technical College President Compensation

111.4 Presidential Vacancy

4.1 President Notification of Planned Vacancy: It is the preference of the Board that a technical college president inform the Commissioner of Higher Education via written communication of his or her intent to vacate the president’s position as early as possible, preferably at least six months before the effective date.

4.2 Notification to Boards of Presidential Vacancy: As soon as practicable after receiving notification of a planned or unplanned presidential vacancy, the Commissioner shall inform all members of the Board and the president’s technical college board of trustees of the vacancy and of provisions for leadership continuity and selection of a replacement as set forth in this policy.

4.3 Leadership Continuity

4.3.1 Unplanned Vacancy or Incapacitation: In the event of a technical college president’s unplanned vacancy or short-term unavailability to serve, the Commissioner shall, after consultation with the chair of the technical college board of trustees and with the approval of the Chair of the Board, immediately designate a vice president or other senior executive of the college to function in the capacity of the president until a new president or acting president is appointed.

4.3.2 Acting President: For a vacancy that is expected to exceed four weeks, the college board of trustees shall, as soon as practicable after receiving notification (111.4.2), submit to the Board in nomination the names of individuals who could serve as acting technical college president. The Board shall, as soon as practicable after receiving nominations, select an acting technical college president. The acting president shall commence service immediately upon the Board’s approval until a new president is appointed (as provided in this policy) and begins service. The acting president’s compensation shall be set during the term of service at the minimum salary in the range established for that technical college president’s position (as provided in Policy 113), or ten percent above the acting president’s salary prior to assuming the position, whichever is greater.

111.5 Presidential Search and Appointment

5.1 Confidentiality: In all activities herein described, Presidential Search Committee members, local college directors, the Commissioner and relevant staff, and Board members shall maintain strict confidentiality. Information about applicants, scoring, background and reference checks, internal discussions, etc. shall not be disclosed to anyone outside of formal meetings herein described.

5.1.1 Engagement with Relevant Parties: Technical college presidential applicants shall be strongly discouraged from soliciting or engaging in discussions with Search Committee members, local college directors, or Board members during the search process.

5.1.2 External Information: Search Committee members, local college directors, the Commissioner and staff, and Board members shall not seek, solicit, or otherwise invite information on applicants from sources or persons outside of submitted application materials or reference/background checks (111.5.3.3).

5.1.3 Lobbying: Invitations, inquiries, emails, texts, letters, phone calls, etc. from outside persons to Presidential Search Committee members for purposes of discussing the search process or recommending or detracting from any and all candidates shall be avoided and strongly discouraged.

5.2 Presidential Search Committee

5.2.1 Committee Appointment: The Chair of the Board of Higher Education, after consultation with the Commissioner and the chair of the technical college board of trustees, and with the approval of the Board, shall appoint a Presidential Search Committee and committee leadership as soon as practicable after receiving the presidential vacancy notification (111.4.2).

5.2.2 Committee Composition: The Presidential Search Committee shall, in accordance with UCA 53B-2a-107(1)(b)(i), consist of an equal number, not to exceed four, of Board members and members of the technical college board of trustees. The Committee chair may also appoint college faculty, students, community leaders, etc. to serve on the Committee, though their number shall not exceed that of the Board members. These community members shall not have previously served as trustees or college directors.

5.2.3 Committee Leadership and Staffing: Leadership of the Search Committee shall be appointed by the Chair of the Board of Higher Education from among Committee members, with a Board member serving as chair and the college board of trustees’ chair or his/her designee as the Committee vice chair. The Commissioner shall provide one or more members of his or her staff to support the Committee.

5.2.4 Committee Duties: The responsibility of the Presidential Search Committee shall be to establish search timelines, recruit applicants, screen and interview applicants, and resultantly recommend up to four candidates for further consideration by the Board. Committee members shall meet as soon as practicable after appointment and as frequently as necessary thereafter to fulfill these duties.

5.3 Preliminary Discussions with Recommended Candidates

5.3.1 Notification and Interview Scheduling of Recommended Applicants: Upon recommendation of up to four candidates for full Board consideration (111.5.2.4), the Commissioner shall notify all applicants whether they were recommended for further consideration. For recommended candidates, the Commissioner shall: (a) inform them of the salary range currently established for the technical college’s president under Policy 113; (b) confirm their willingness to be considered given the starting salary range prescribed in Policy 113, or seek their rationale for requesting another starting salary; and (c) schedule their respective meetings and interviews with college trustees and the Board of Higher Education (111.5.3.4 and 111.5.4.2[b], respectively).

5.3.2 Notification and Transmittal to Boards: The Commissioner of Higher Education shall confidentially notify the members of the Board and the college board of trustees of the recommended candidate selection and interview schedule; shall transmit to them the confidential application materials for each recommended candidate; and shall, with the chair of the Board, develop standardized questions and metrics for use in the applicant interviews specified in 111.5.4.2(b).

5.3.3 Reference/Background Checks: Utilizing staff and/or a professional provider, the Commissioner shall, prior to candidates’ respective meetings and interviews with college trustees and the Board of Higher Education: (a) conduct a criminal background check in accordance with statutory and college requirements; (b) contact previous employers and references; and (c) other work-related reference checks as determined by the Chair of the Board of Higher Education for each candidate recommended for full Board consideration.

5.3.4 Meeting with the College Board of Trustees: Each candidate recommended for Board of Higher Education consideration shall, prior to being interviewed by the Board, meet with the technical college’s board of trustees in a closed session thereof to introduce him/herself, discuss his/her professional competence to serve as technical college president, and answer questions from board members. A member of the Commissioner’s staff shall attend this meeting and report to the Board of Higher Education observations made by local directors (111.5.4.2[c]).

5.4 Interviews of Recommended Candidates and Potential Appointment

5.4.1 Scheduling and Notice of Board Meeting: The Chair of the Board of Higher Education shall, after consultation with the chair of the college board of trustees and the Commissioner of Higher Education, schedule the potential selection of a technical college president at a regular or special meeting of the Board on location at the technical college’s main campus as soon as practicable but not to exceed two weeks after the Presidential Search Committee’s recommendation of candidates to further interview (111.5.2.4).

5.4.2 Board Meeting: The Board of Higher Education shall convene in open session then vote to move to closed session for discussion of candidates’ character and professional competence, as provided in UCA 52-4-205(1)(a). In accordance with UCA 53B-2a-107(1)(b)(iii), two members of the technical college board of trustees, as appointed by the chair of the board of trustees, shall join the Board in closed session and participate in recommended applicants’ interviews as non-voting members.

(a) Commissioner Briefing: The Commissioner of Higher Education shall, while the Board is in closed session, report on proposed salary expectations (111.5.3.1[b]) and results from reference and background checks (111.5.3.3).

(b) Interviews: After the Commissioner’s briefing, the Board of Higher Education and the two appointed members of the technical college board of trustees shall interview each finalist in closed session, utilizing a standardized questionnaire with metrics developed for the Board in 111.5.3.2. In accordance with the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act (UCA 52-4-202), the Board shall not take any action during the closed session to vote on candidates but shall limit discussion to individual Board members’ observations and assessments of the candidates’ character and professional competence.

(c) Board of Trustees’ and College Faculty/Staff Observations: After Board discussion of each interviewed candidate, a report made by a member of the Commissioner’s staff detailing observations made by members of the technical college’s board of directors upon meeting with each applicant (111.5.3.4) will be shared with the Board members. Further information on directors’ impressions of candidates’ qualifications may be provided by the college trustees participating in the Board’s interviews.

5.4.3 Appointment of President: In accordance with UCA 53B-2a-107(1)(b)(iv), the Board of Higher Education shall, after discussion of candidates’ character and professional competence, return into open meeting in compliance with UCA 52-4. The Board may then vote: (a) to appoint a technical college president; and (b) to authorize the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Higher Education, in consultation with the chair of the college board of trustees and the Commissioner of Higher Education, to negotiate and finalize the technical college president’s compensation within the parameters of Policy 113 and with consideration to the college’s budget. Only voting members of the Board of Higher Education may vote in the selection of the president. In the event the Board of Higher Education does not appoint a technical college president, it shall specify additional action to be taken to identify and appoint a president.