To provide guidance for the Board of Trustees, presidential search committees, and staff to assist in the search for and selection of technical college presidents by the Utah System of Technical Colleges Board of Trustees per Policy 111. This procedural document is intended for guidance only, is non-binding, and may be altered as appropriate by the Board of Trustees, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, a presidential search committee, or the Office of the Commissioner of Technical Education.
UCA 53B-2a-107, Technical College Presidents – Appointments – Duties
UTech Policy 101, Bylaws
UTech Policy 110, Technical College Presidents – Functions
UTech Policy 111, Technical College Presidents – Selection
UTech Policy 400, Criminal Background Checks
111P.3 Search Committee Processes
3.1 Formation of Search Committee: Per Policy 111.5.2, a Presidential Search Committee and Committee leadership will be appointed to select up to four applicants for further consideration by the Board of Higher Education.
3.2 Notify Search Committee Members: As soon as reasonably possible, the chair of the Search Committee should contact each Committee member to ensure willingness to serve and accept the necessary time commitments. The Committee chair should also cause each Committee member including him/herself to sign a confidentiality and commitment agreement.
3.3 Initial Meeting: Shortly after notification and finalization of Search Committee membership, the chair should arrange for an initial meeting. This initial meeting may be held electronically or in-person. The following should be addressed in the initial meeting:
3.3.1 Recruitment: Utilizing a format similar to the template format at the end of this procedure, the Committee may determine the method and extent of position advertisement with consideration to national, regional, and statewide educational, professional, and industry channels. The position will generally be advertised for a minimum of 30 days with a deadline for full consideration. The time may be longer or shorter as directed by the Committee.
3.3.2 Minimum Qualifications and Initial Screening: The Search Committee may establish minimum qualifications based on Policy 110 and UCA 53B-2a-107. The Committee may also direct Commissioner’s staff to perform an initial screening to ensure only candidates meeting such minimum qualifications are forwarded to the Committee for full review. This initial screening will minimize time spent by Committee members reviewing material submitted by unqualified candidates. The initial screening should happen within one week of the application deadline.
3.3.3 Screening and Scoring Criteria: The Search Committee should determine criteria by which application materials are scored. The Committee may direct Commissioner’s staff to create a scoring matrix or other tool to facilitate applicant screening.
3.3.4 Timeline: The Committee may establish a timeline for completion of its responsibilities. The timeline should allow sufficient time for advertisement, recruitment, initial screening, comprehensive review of application materials by Committee members, and interviews. The timeline should also include a deadline for full consideration of application materials, date and time for a second short meeting to select candidates to interview, and a full business day afterward to interview selected applicants.
3.4 Applicant Screening: After the deadline for consideration and any initial screening processes, Commissioner’s staff will make qualified applicants’ application materials available electronically to each member of the Search Committee. Committee members should use a uniform scoring matrix or other tool to individually score each applicant. Committee members will submit their scores to Commissioner’s staff for compilation and tabulation. Commissioner’s staff will provide a summary ranking of all applicants by total or average score to Committee members at the second meeting of the Search Committee. The summary will utilize a method of statistical softening, such as eliminating each applicant’s highest and lowest scores to minimize the ability of any one Committee member to unfairly skew an individual applicant’s score positively or negatively.
3.5 Second Meeting: Upon completion of any initial screening processes, the Search Committee should hold a second meeting in person, via video conference, or via telephone conference to select applicants to interview and to determine a standardized list of questions to ask each selected candidate. The Committee may review the summary score sheet provided by staff and use a combination of the rankings and Committee discussion to select candidates to interview. It is recommended that the Committee choose approximately eight applicants to interview.
3.6 Notification of Applicants and Scheduling of Interviews: As soon as practicable following the selection of candidates to interview, the Committee chair or his or her designee from the Committee or Commissioner’s staff should contact applicants to schedule available interview times and notify applicants who were not selected for an interview.
3.7 Final Meeting/Interviews: The final meeting of the Search Committee will generally take a full business day and may proceed as follows:
3.7.1 Orientation (30 minutes or less): The Search Committee chair conducts the meeting, welcomes Committee members, directs that any requested material is distributed to Committee members including a daily schedule, interview questions, scoring sheets, secret ballots, etc. The chair may make question assignments and provide any other instruction he or she deems appropriate.
3.7.2 Interviews (45 – 60 minutes each): The Committee should use the standardized list of questions designated in 111P.3.5 for each candidate and use a uniform scoring template to score each candidate’s response to each question. Scoring sheets may be provided to Commissioner’s staff for compilation and tabulation once completed. Tabulation and compilation of scores may take place concurrent to subsequent interviews.
3.7.3 Final Discussion and Final Recommendations: Following the interviews and the tabulation of applicant scores, Commissioner’s staff will provide summary ranking of all interviewed candidates by total or average score to the Committee. The summary will utilize a method of statistical softening, such as eliminating each candidate’s highest and lowest scores to minimize the ability of any one Committee member to unfairly skew an individual candidate’s score positively or negatively. The Committee may review summary scores and rankings provided by staff and use a combination of the rankings and Committee discussion to consider candidates to recommend to the Board of Higher Education for further consideration. It is recommended that the Search Committee select via secret ballot up to four candidates to recommend to the Board for further consideration. The meeting may be adjourned once final recommendations are determined, or if the Committee is unable to agree, one additional meeting may be scheduled to finalize recommendations.
3.7.4 Notice to the Board of Higher Education: As soon as reasonably possible, the chair of the Search Committee shall report or cause to be reported the names of those candidates recommended for further consideration to the Chair of the Board of Higher Education. Once the report and recommendations are reviewed by the Board of Higher Education and accepted, the Search Committee’s work is finished, and the Committee is dissolved.
111P.4 Board of Higher Education Consideration of Recommended Candidates
4.1 Board of Higher Education Acceptance of Search Committee Recommendations: After the Search Committee completes its responsibilities, the Board of Higher Education may meet in person or electronically in accordance with the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act (UCA 52-4-202) and Board bylaws (Policy 101.8.8-11) to discuss candidates recommended by the Search Committee for further consideration. The Board may enter a closed session for discussion of applicants’ character and professional competence, as provided in UCA 52-4-205(1)(a). The Board of Higher Education may accept the candidates recommended by the Search Committee and select a date for final interviews and possible selection of a college president or direct the Search Committee to extend the search. If the search is extended, the Search Committee may follow the applicable sections of 111P.3 above.
4.2 Notification of Candidates and Interview Scheduling: Once the date for final interviews is set, the Chair of the Board of Higher Education may personally notify or designate another Board member or Commissioner’s staff to notify the candidates not recommended for further consideration of the Search Committee’s recommendation and to notify the recommended candidates and schedule final interviews within available timeslots.
4.3 Background and Reference Checks: Any time after the acceptance of candidates for further review, the Chair of the Board of Higher Education may cause reference and background checks to be conducted. These checks may be conducted utilizing available college resources, Commissioner’s staff, and/or a professional provider. The checks should include a criminal background check as defined in Policy 400, contacting previous employers and references, and a review of internet and social media. These checks should be completed in advance of the final interviews.
4.4 Board of Higher Education Interviews: A meeting and interviews with recommended candidates shall be conducted in accordance with Policy 126.96.36.199. The Board may use scoring sheets or other mechanisms to rank candidates as appropriate.
4.5 Announcement of the Newly Selected President: As deemed appropriate and timely, the Chair of the Board of Higher Education may have arrangements prepared with college personnel, college boards of directors, media, and interested parties to publicly announce the new president on the same day that the Board members complete their final interviews, deliberate, vote, and make the presidential selection. Or, at the discretion of the Chair of the Board of Higher Education, public announcement of the new president may otherwise take place within two days of the completed selection process.