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The Search for a President Redux

January 29, 2008

On behalf of the students, faculty and staff of the University of North Dakota, I would like to thank our Presidential Search Committee on totally and completely failing to fulfill its responsibilities as laid out by the State Board of Higher Education. I believe I speak for most everyone when I express my extreme disappointment on a job not well done.

A few weeks ago the search committee decided that they would only send final candidates that recieved 3/4s (12) of the vote of 16 to the SBHE. This decision went against the idea of what a search committee’s purpose is (establishing and narrowing down a field of candidates for a certain position–not one candidate). They’ve continually proven themselves unable to accurately represent the needs of the university’s main stakeholders and have now treated the entire process like a poorly designed puppet show.

At the very least, this committee needs to personally apologize to each of the semifinalists for the position as well as admit to the public they have failed in their duties as a committee. After that, the committee should be dissolved and the State Board of Higher Education should go ahead and conduct final interviews with all five semifinalists within the timeframe they established, knowing that there could be five finalists for the job.

I’ve made my feelings known before about the lack of transparency in this entire search process. This was the final act of an almost constant comedy-of-errors. The only thing left to do now is to make your feelings known to the North Dakota University System. It’s about time the students at this school displayed some advocacy.
Chancellor William Goetz can be e-mailed at and reached at his office at (701) 328-2963.

The Student Representative on the SBHE is Nathaniel Hilliard. You can e-mail him at

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