Presidential search committee complete

With the addition of four elected representatives from the General Academic Assembly (GAA), the committee charged with selecting the University of Saskatchewan’s next president is now complete.

University Secretary Beth Williamson said the GAA representatives—Claire Card, professor of large animal clinical sciences; Pamela Downe, head of the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology; Len Findlay, professor of English; and Lisa Kalynchuk, professor in the Department of Medicine—were elected from a slate of nine candidates, four put forward by the nominating committee of University Council and five nominated from the floor at Council's October meeting. About two-thirds of Council members participated in the electronic voting.

The make up of the presidential search committee is set out in the university's Search and Review Procedures for Senior Administrators, explained Williamson. In addition to the four GAA members, the committee includes Greg Smith, chair of the Board of Governors; Grant Isaac and David Dubé, members of the board; Blaine Favel, the University Senate representative; Michael Atkinson from the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy and Dr. Preston Smith from the College of Medicine selected as representatives of deans and executive directors; Max FineDay, president of the U of S Students' Union; and Izabela Vlahu, president of the Graduate Students' Association.

Williamson, who provides support to the committee, said among the first orders of business will be discussions about how best to communicate progress of the search to the entire stakeholder community. "The goal is to keep the community informed, recognizing that much of what the committee deals with is confidential," she said. "Part of that effort will be using the website which we will be launching soon."

After a competitive bid process, the university retained the global executive search firm Perrett Laver to assist with the presidential selection, said Williamson. It is the first time the U of S has worked with Perrett Laver, and the secretary noted the company was also involved in the search for the University of Alberta's new president.

One of the search committee's initial tasks will be to look at the position profile for U of S president, and update it if necessary. To help in the process, Williamson said the committee will be seeking input from the university community and stakeholders about the institution's strategic goals and objectives. Comments collected at ca will be shared with the committee, as will the results of interviews the search firm will do with senior leaders at the U of S and with leaders of key stakeholder groups.

"All of the input," she continued, "will help draw out themes that will inform the position profile. With all of this feedback, the committee will review the profile and make any adjustments it deems necessary."

The consultations and review of the job profile for the postion U of S president are expected to be completed in early January.
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