UNC Board of Trustees releases new details on president search


UNC’s Board of Trustees sent a campus-wide email on Monday regarding the search for a new president, following President Kay Norton’s announcement last week stating her resignation. The email, printed in full below, includes a list of qualities the board is emphasizing in their search, as well as a timeline of the process. The board’s chosen president will be announced in April of 2018, according to the email.

The board also announced who will be involved in the search process, mixing students, staff and faculty from the university. Kevion Ellis, the student body president, and another student senator who will be chosen by the Senate, will be on the Search Committee. Faculty members on the Search committee include Stephen Luttmann, the Chair of the Faculty Senate, and another faculty member to be chosen by the Faculty Senate from within their ranks. Joining them will be Professional Administrative Staff Council Chair Shawanna Kimbrough-Hayward and Classified Staff Council Chair Margaret Kinney.

Read the full email here:

Dear Members of the UNC Campus Community:

As you know, President Kay Norton announced at her annual State of the University Address last week that she will retire as UNC’s President at the end of June 2018. We are tremendously grateful for Kay’s steady and insightful leadership over the past 15 years and look forward to continuing our work together this year. Kay has been a great President for UNC and has put the university in a strong position to attract highly qualified candidates to be her successor.

The duty to select and appoint UNC’s president is one of the Board’s most critical roles and a responsibility we take very seriously. The timing of Kay’s announcement will allow us to conduct a thorough and thoughtful national search, and each of us is committed to investing significant time and attention to this work. We are also committed to being as inclusive and transparent as possible throughout the search.

We hope to select UNC’s next president by the end of April. This would allow us to bring the incoming president on board before Kay retires so they can work together to ensure a smooth transition. We will hire a search firm to assist us with the search and are issuing a Documented Quote to solicit proposals from interested firms early this week.

We will be reaching out to students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, supporters and the broader community throughout the search process and will be seeking input broadly. Because campus involvement is so crucial to this process, we’re inviting two students, two faculty members and two staff members to join us on the Search Committee. We feel that the fairest way to select these campus representatives is to use the university’s established shared governance structures, so we have invited Student Senate President Kevion Ellis, another Student Senate member to be identified by the Student Senate, Faculty Senate Chair Stephen Luttmann, another Faculty Senate member to be identified by the Faculty Senate, Professional Administrative Staff Council Chair Shawanna Kimbrough-Hayward and Classified Staff Council Chair Margaret Kinney.

The Search Committee will convene for its first meeting on September 26th. The committee’s first task will be to solicit feedback on the leadership characteristics/job description for the next president and make a recommendation on these to the Board. The committee will then work with the search firm to generate a strong and diverse pool of candidates, screen applications, conduct interviews, and identify candidates to recommend to the Board for its consideration as finalist(s) for the position. The committee will facilitate communication about the search throughout the process.

At the Board’s retreat last Friday, we discussed an initial list of leadership characteristics and abilities that we believe are important for UNC’s next president. This is not a final list, nor is it all-encompassing; it is intended to provide a starting point for broad discussion about what we need in UNC’s next leader. After we have the opportunity to consult with the campus members of the Search Committee on September 26th, we will provide multiple opportunities for broad input on this list. We’re simply sharing it now to encourage you to begin thinking about it.

INITIAL DRAFT—Leadership Characteristics and Job Description
– Be knowledgeable about the higher education environment
– Appreciate UNC’s unique strengths
– Embrace innovation
– Energize and inspire people
– Eagerly engage students
– Be a catalyst for collaborative action
– Connect with the Greeley and Colorado communities
– Build strong relationships with alumni, donors, legislators and policy makers
– Possess big-picture financial acumen
– Identify and obtain external funding

After collecting and considering feedback on the leadership characteristics/job description, we will formally establish the job description and requirements, as well as other search goals as required by state statute, at a special meeting of the Board on November 1st. A draft timeline of other important search dates is included at the end of this email. We will establish an official timeline after consulting with the Search Committee and search firm.

Please understand that this email is just the first step in communicating about the search process. There are many details yet to be addressed before we can launch a search, and we will be back in touch after the first Search Committee meeting.


Richard Monfort, Chair
Paul Washington, Vice Chair
Anthony Salazar
Christine Scanlan
Kevin Ahern
Kato Crews
Janice Sinden
Vish Iyer
Michael Kelly

DRAFT Search Timeline
– Sept. 19, 2017—Issue request for Documented Quote from search firms
– Sept. 26, 2017—Search Committee introductory meeting
– Oct. 20, 2017—Search Committee meeting to discuss leadership characteristics/job description
– Nov. 1, 2017—BOT special meeting to establish leadership characteristics/job description, selection process and timeline
– Early November 2017—Begin advertising position
– Late January 2018—Search Committee meetings to select candidates for stage 1 interviews
– Mid-February 2018—Search Committee meetings to conduct stage 1 interviews and narrow list for stage 2 interviews
– March 2018—Search Committee meetings to conduct stage 2 interviews and narrow list for final interviews
– Late March 2018—Publicly announce final interviews
– Early April 2018—BOT special meeting to deliberate and select offeree
– Mid-April 2018—Publicly announce new UNC President



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