Adams State ready to post president's job

ALAMOSA — Adams State University is officially looking for its next leader — at least its next interim one.

The university board of trustees in a special meeting Thursday afternoon approved the resolution triggering the job posting for an interim president and approved a search committee to review applications when they come in.

The university is looking for an interim president who could serve from approximately July 1 of this year to July 1 of 2019, which would give the trustees time to complete a search for a permanent replacement for Dr. Beverlee McClure. In the meantime Dr. Matt Nehring is serving as interim president.

The university will accept applications electronically through May 15 (to Tracy Rogers, director of human resources) in anticipation of appointing an interim president by June 15.

On Thursday the board reviewed and tweaked the job description and accompanying information, which will now be posted in appropriate venues. The trustees talked about how they wanted to make their wish list clear but not too narrow. For example, they want someone with higher education expertise and knowledge but did not want to prevent someone with good leadership skills from applying who might not come from an academic background.

The trustees and Nehring discussed the need for the person to be well acquainted with higher education, however, even if the applicant did not “rise up from the ranks” of academia.

They also want applicants to understand the uniqueness and diversity of Adams State. For example, the announcement shares with potential applicants that ASU is a Hispanic Serving Institution with a high percentage of underserved students. It gives a bit of history of the university, its budget and student population.

The announcement also outlines the type of person the university is seeking such as someone who is an effective leader with administrative and academic expertise, demonstrated interpersonal and political skills and deep knowledge of higher education financials and operations

“It’s a wish list of what we want,” said Trustee Michele Lueck who helped refine the position announcement. “Let’s shoot high here.”

“I agree,” said Faculty Trustee Robert Benson. “We need to cast the net pretty far.”

The job announcement also talks about the president’s responsibilities as outlined in the university manual, which include reporting to the trustees and interacting with 11 other specific staff such as the vice president for academic affairs and the chief financial officer. The president will also be expected to interact with faculty, students, the community and local, state and federal governmental leaders and serve as the university’s spokesperson. The trustees talked about how they wanted the president to be transparent, visible and accessible to the faculty, students and community.

Student Trustee John Owsley said the student government leaders wanted to see someone who would be approachable for students, transparent, have an innovative mindset, for example developing alternative revenue streams, and operate through shared governance.

Trustee Chairman Cleave Simpson said other specific requirements could be included in an employment contract and performance standards. Nehring said it would be difficult to find someone who met all of the wish list qualifications.

Qualifications for potential applicants include an advanced degree (preferred) and 10 years leadership experience.

Once the applications are received, a search committee comprised primarily of trustees will review the applications and narrow them down for the board as a whole to review. Trustee Kathy Rogers will chair that committee, and Trustees Simpson, Lueck, Benson, Donna Griego, Pam Bricker and Student Trustee Elect Cody Trujillo will serve on the committee along with one of the key administrative staff members (direct reports) yet to be appointed to the committee.

Simpson also directed staff to initiate a request for proposal process for consultants to assist the university in the search process for the permanent president, with those proposals to be reviewed in June.