Columbia College presidential search committee narrows choice to three

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 | 8:11 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The search for a new president at Columbia College took another step forward after the presidential search committee narrowed the pool of applicants down to three finalists over the weekend. 

For the confidentiality of the applicants, the names of those finalists will not be released until Jan. 2, 2014, said the Rev. John Yonker, chair of the presidential search committee.

The 11-member committee hired the search firm Academic Search to help find a replacement for Gerald Brouder, who retired from the presidency Aug. 1. Terry Smith is currently serving as interim president until a successor is chosen.

"We've wanted to make this process as legitimate as possible, as confidential as possible," Yonker said.

Two consultants from Academic Search worked with the presidential search committee to put together a presidential profile for applicants who were considering the job. The first applications started rolling in around the third week of August, Yonker said, and Columbia College received a total of 64 applicants.

Using the profile, the search committee met in October to review the applicants and pick 10 to be interviewed. Those applicants were interviewed Saturday and Sunday by the committee and the two consultants. The three finalists were notified by email Sunday evening.

Next steps in the Columbia College's presidential search process:

  • Jan. 2 — The three finalists will be made public on Columbia College's website.
  • Jan. 12 to 16 — The candidates will visit campus and interview with trustees, faculty, students, staff and administrative counsel. Their interviews are spread throughout the week, and the applicants are set to stay at different hotels to avoid overlap. 

  •  Jan. 17 — The Board of Trustees will have a special meeting to deliberate with the hopes of selecting a successor. 

The announcement will be made public after negotiations on contract, salary and benefits with the appointed successor are decided.

Yonker is confident any of the three candidates would make a fine president. 

"We didn't want to appoint someone that was an obvious second choice," Yonker said. "That was the main criteria."

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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