Presidential candidate profile complete, job to be posted

After months of anticipation, the wheels have finally been set in motion for Capilano University's first regime change in 15 years. With Greg Lee's last day, July 31, 2010, drawing ever closer, the Presidential Search Committee has completed their candidate profile and requirements, and is ready to post this important position.

The discussions about what would make an ideal candidate began in July of this year, as the newly formed Presidential Search Committee met for the first time. The committee, comprised of representatives from the administration, faculty, Capilano Students Union (CSU), and Board of Governors, enlisted the help of external consulting firm Pinton Forrest & Madden to compile their presidential profile.

The position of President is not easily defined, but according to the profile, has a big-picture focus. Many of the “Specific Responsibilities” come down to ensuring the quality of the institution as a whole. The “Nature and Scope of Work” section has a similarly macro view of the job, stating that “the President anticipates and researches University needs and formulates policies to ensure a continuation of the University’s commitment both to the quality of education and to a comprehensive curriculum. ”

The candidate requirements are specific, and are broken down between education and experience, skills and abilities, and personal characteristics for a total of 27 listed items. “We think about a visionary person, who looks to the future of the students in our community in the next 30 years ... someone who is capable [of exceeding] the students expectations and [has] the right skill set to maintain the needs of the students,” says Ghazal Tohidi, CSU student representative to the search committee.

The presidential search also has a global focus, to reflect the increasing globalization of our times. Instead of advertising in local newspapers, the committee has chosen to place advertisements mainly on professional-geared websites that naturally attract the sort of candidates they are seeking. This decision will also allow the search to be international.

Not only does Ghazal point out that “moving to Vancouver is a dream for a lot of people,” she also notes that “the goal for Capilano University should be to expand and be recognized in the world. With the University status it is possible now, and we are moving towards that direction so we want to … create more partnerships with more countries.”

Though the job had not been posted to any such websites as of the Courier's deadline, the profile has been finalized, and approved by both the Senate and the Board of Governors. Some discussion about the specifics of the document continued as recently as the October 6 Senate meeting, such as whether a PhD is a necessary requirement, or if any doctoral degree is acceptable, and what the term “recognized institution” actually means.

Pinton Forrest & Madden will begin the candidate filtration process in January with preliminary interviews, and the candidates will begin presentations to the Search Committee in March. The committee will send a maximum of two candidates to the Board of Governors for final approval.  

The extent of student input thus far has been limited to the CSU student representatives, though if students wish to express concerns, questions, or feedback they are advised to contact the Presidential Search Committee.

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