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Institutional Executive Officer Search
201.0509 INSTITUTIONAL EXECUTIVE OFFICER/COMMISSIONER OF HIGHER EDUCATION SEARCH PROCESS
  1. General Policy
    Pursuant to Art. 8 §213 A of the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, as amended, and Miss. Code Ann. §37-101-15 (f) (1972), as amended, the Board shall have the power and authority to elect the heads of the various institutions of higher learning. The accrediting body for our Mississippi public universities, SACS-COC, requires, in part, within Section 4 of its Principles of Accreditation that the governing board of a university select the institution’s chief executive officer. Therefore, the Board of Trustees is legally authorized and required to appoint the Commissioner and the Institutional Executive Officers (IEOs). The Board may make temporary appointments to executive officer and/or commissioner positions as necessary and with such consultation as the Board considers appropriate. The confidentiality of all applicants in a search for an IEO or Commissioner is of upmost importance. The identity of applicants shall not be revealed at any point in time, other than that of the successful applicant after the conclusion of a search.

    (BT Minutes, 4/2000; 11/2005; 12/2005; 1/2006; 3/2011; 5/2011; 4/2012; 4/2022)

  2. Board Search Committee
    The President of the Board shall appoint a committee of Board members to manage the search for a Commissioner or an IEO. However, any Board member who wants to serve on the committee may serve. Board members considering serving on a Board Search Committee should be aware that their service will involve reviewing many documents related to candidates in preparation for committee meetings. It will also involve participation in a number of meetings above and beyond the monthly meetings of the Board of Trustees, including campus listening sessions and candidate interviews. The time commitment for serving in this capacity is considerable. Only those Board members serving on the Board Search Committee will be allowed to vote on matters before that committee. However, all Board members will be invited to attend all meetings of the Board Search Committee and may participate in committee discussions. The President of the Board, with the consent of the Board, shall appoint a member of the committee as chairperson. The President of the Board is encouraged to select a Board Search Committee chairperson that has a relationship with the subject university. The Board shall next announce that a search is underway.

    (BT Minutes, 4/2000; 11/2005; 12/2005; 1/2006; 1/2008; 3/2011; 5/2011; 4/2012; 6/2013; 4/2018; 4/2022)

  3. Extended Search Process

    1. Hiring of a Search Consultant
    2. The Commissioner, in consultation with the Board Search Committee, will make a recommendation to the Board with regard to a search consultant to assist with the search for an IEO. The Board will select the search consultant, if the Board determines that one is needed. The Board may select a search consultant to assist with the search for a new Commissioner.

      (BT Minutes, 4/2000; 11/2005; 12/2005; 1/2006; 1/2008; 3/2011; 5/2011; 4/2012; 6/2013; 4/2018; 4/2022)

    3. Listening Sessions
    4. As part of the initiation of the IEO search process, the Commissioner and Board may consider the input of constituents regarding preferred characteristics of a new IEO. The solicitation of input from the university family may be initiated by the Board to ensure that interested parties have an opportunity to be heard. The Board may also consider input from any constituents regarding the preferred characteristics of a new Commissioner.

      (BT Minutes, 4/2000; 11/2005; 12/2005; 1/2006; 1/2008; 3/2011; 5/2011; 4/2012; 6/2013; 4/2018; 4/2022)

    5. Search Advisory Constituency
    6. If the Board would like to seek additional constituent input, the Board may, at its discretion, appoint a Search Advisory Constituency (SAC). If the Board chooses to appoint a SAC in a search for an IEO, the Commissioner and Chair of the Board Search Committee shall prepare a list of the proposed membership of the SAC, which must be approved by a consensus of the Board as presented or as revised by the Board. The SAC shall be representative of the various constituent groups of the university and representative in terms of diversity. Said SAC will be composed of no more than 15 members. The SAC members will be provided with a protocol questionnaire for them to respond to individually and in writing containing their individual recommendations. No meeting of the SAC will be held to discuss candidates, since the process seeks to obtain independent and confidential advice from each member of the SAC without consultation among the members. In order to protect the integrity of the search process and demonstrate respect for potential candidates that prefer that their candidacy or interest in the position remain confidential, the Board of Trustees will not share any input provided by any SAC member with any parties other than IHL Board members, the Board’s staff and the Search Consultant. The Commissioner shall accumulate the results of those recommendations and report same to the Board Search Committee members.

      (BT Minutes, 4/2000; 11/2005; 12/2005; 1/2006; 1/2008; 3/2011; 5/2011; 4/2012; 6/2013; 4/2018; 4/2022)

    7. Position Qualifications, Advertisement and Search Schedule
    8. The Board shall approve any candidate profile and minimum qualifications for candidates. The Commissioner and the Chair of the Board Search Committee, with the assistance of any search consultant (if one is used), shall develop the position advertisement and a general schedule for the search with the approval of the Board Search Committee. The Board Search Committee shall have maximum flexibility in establishing the schedule for the search. The position shall then be advertised in accordance with the schedule.

      (BT Minutes, 4/2000; 11/2005; 12/2005; 1/2006; 1/2008; 3/2011; 5/2011; 4/2012; 4/2018; 4/2022)

    9. Candidate Screening
    10. The Commissioner and Board Search Committee Chair shall then assess any written recommendations of the individual SAC members and any community and campus input (obtained in Section C. 2. above) for possible use by the Board Search Committee. After candidate applications and resumes have been collected, the Commissioner and Board Search Committee Chair shall then review the applications and resumes of candidates. The Board Search Committee shall then meet and discuss which candidates to interview. At that meeting, the Commissioner and Board Search Committee Chair shall make recommendations to the Board Search Committee regarding which candidates to interview. Any other Board members may attend and participate in this meeting. All Board members will then be informed of those candidates that the Board Search Committee would like to interview. If any Board member expresses a desire to the Commissioner to call a full Board meeting to discuss further the candidates to be interviewed, a Board teleconference or other meeting shall be properly noticed and called. If no Board member requests such a Board meeting within forty-eight hours of being notified of the candidates to be interviewed, the Board Search Committee shall proceed with planning first round candidate interviews. The search consultant shall then be informed of the candidates to be interviewed.

      (BT Minutes, 4/2000; 11/2005; 12/2005; 1/2006; 1/2008; 3/2011; 5/2011; 4/2012; 4/2018; 4/2022)

    11. Recruitment
    12. Candidates will be advised to submit their materials by a specified date to insure optimum consideration for the position. However, in the Board’s discretion, recruitment may occur up to the point of selection.

      (BT Minutes, 4/2000; 11/2005; 12/2005; 1/2006; 1/2008; 3/2011; 5/2011; 4/2012; 4/2022)

    13. First Interviews
    14. The Board Search Committee and the Commissioner will conduct the first round of interviews. Interviews should be conducted on the basis that the confidentiality of the candidate is critical to the ultimate success of the search. Except in extraordinary circumstances, more than one candidate should be selected for first interviews. All Board members will be invited to attend the interviews. The Board’s staff and the consultant, if one is used, will conduct background checks on all candidates that are to be given a first round interview. The background checks will be completed and results reported to the Board Search Committee and Commissioner prior to the commencement of the first round interviews. The Board may, but shall not be required to, proceed to second round interviews.

      (BT Minutes, 1/2008; 3/2011; 5/2011; 4/2012; 4/2018; 4/2022)

    15. Reference Contacts
    16. Under the direction of the Commissioner and/or the consultant, reference contacts may be made on any candidate at any time. Reference contacts must be made on each candidate prior to participating in the second round of interviews or any candidate prior to selection. The results of the reference contacts shall be made known to the Board before the second round of interviews and before any selection prior to the second round of interviews.

      (BT Minutes, 1/2008; 3/2011; 5/2011; 4/2012; 4/2018; 4/2022)

    17. Second Interviews
    18. The Board Search Committee shall discuss whether to conduct a second round of interviews and, if so, who and how many to interview during the second round of interviews. All Board members will be invited to attend this meeting. All Board members will be informed of those candidates that the Board Search Committee would like to interview for second round interviews. If any Board member expresses a desire to the Commissioner to call a full Board meeting to discuss further the candidates to be interviewed for a second interview, a Board meeting shall be properly noticed and called. If no Board member requests such a Board meeting within forty-eight hours of being notified of the candidates to be further interviewed, the Board Search Committee shall proceed with planning the second round interviews by the full Board. The Board may conduct as many additional interviews as it deems necessary in conducting the search process. The Board will determine whether and the extent to which individual Trustees or groups will separately meet with the candidates.

      (BT Minutes, 1/2008; 3/2011; 5/2011; 4/2012; 4/2018; 4/2022)

    19. Board Discussion of Candidates
    20. Unless the Board Search Committee is prepared to make a recommendation after the initial interviews, after all of the above has been completed, the Board of Trustees will meet to hear from the Board Search Committee regarding an assessment of each candidate. The Commissioner’s assessment will be sought.

      (BT Minutes, 1/2008; 3/2011; 5/2011; 4/2012; 4/2022)

    21. Decision
    22. The Board of Trustees will then vote to name the institution’s new Institutional Executive Officer, or the Board may vote to delay, suspend or extend the search. If a new Institutional Executive Officer is not selected, the Board may also, in its discretion, appoint an interim or acting Institutional Executive Officer, or the Board may ask that the outgoing Institutional Executive Officer stay in the position for some temporary period.

      (BT Minutes, 1/2008; 3/2011; 5/2011; 4/2012; 4/2022)

  4. Expedited Search Alternative
    The Board may, in its discretion, interview candidates that are known to the Board and consider their selection in accordance with an expedited search alternative described in Section D. The Board will conduct interviews of internal candidates or other candidates at an early point in the process. The Board may invite anyone it chooses to interview, even if that individual has not applied or expressed interest in the position. The Board may conduct as many additional interviews as it determines appropriate. If utilized, an expedited search alternative will be used prior to the hiring of a search consultant. Following interviews of candidates, the Board, as it deems appropriate, may proceed with utilizing any portions of the extended search process set out above. A Board vote to select an IEO interviewed in accordance with this expedited search alternative shall require the affirmative vote of at least nine Board members. If candidates are interviewed in accordance with an expedited search alternative and no candidate is selected, the Board has the power to engage in another expedited search alternative described above, or to delay, suspend or extend the search as required to serve the best interests of the university.

    (BT Minutes, 4/2000; 11/2005; 12/2005; 1/2006; 1/2008; 3/2011; 5/2011; 4/2012; 6/2013; 4/2018; 4/2022)

  5. Commissioner Search
    In a search for a Commissioner, the Board Search Committee may request appropriate individuals or groups to submit unranked recommendations of candidates to be considered for initial interviews. The Board Search Committee shall schedule initial interviews and all members of the Board will be invited to attend the initial interviews and participate in the selection of candidates for final interviews, unless the Board determines a Commissioner should be named based upon the initial interviews. Background checks should be conducted and results reported prior to initial interviews. Any reference contacts should be made prior to an additional interview and prior to hiring. If additional/final interviews are conducted, the Board Search Committee will next develop an interview schedule for the candidates selected for final interviews for the position of Commissioner. The Board shall then meet and conduct final interviews and select the Commissioner, or the Board may vote to delay, suspend or extend the search.

    (BT Minutes, 4/2000; 11/2005; 12/2005; 1/2006; 1/2008; 3/2011; 5/2011; 4/2012; 4/2022)

201.0510 APPLICATION BY INTERIM INSTITUTIONAL EXECUTIVE OFFICER FOR INSTITUTIONAL EXECUTIVE OFFICER POSITION

Upon the recommendation of the Board President and as needed, the Board may, but is not required to, appoint an individual as an acting or interim institutional executive officer (IEO) at an institution. If the Board has chosen to appoint an acting or interim institutional executive officer at an institution, an individual that serves in that position after the formal circulation of the Advertisement requesting applications for an IEO shall not be considered as a candidate for the permanent IEO position at that university during that search process. This policy does not prohibit consideration of an individual who has completed service as an interim or acting IEO prior to the circulation of the formal Advertisement for applications and who discontinues such service at that time.

(BT Minutes, 1/2009; 3/2011; 4/2012; 4/2018; 4/2022)

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