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UA presidential search nears conclusion

Vice+Chair+Bill+Ridenour+speaks+at+the+UA+Presidential+Search+Advisory+Committee+meeting+Wednesday%2C+Nov.+16%2C+in+the+Student+Union+Memorial+Center.+The+committee+has+begun+discussions+with+prospects+to+replace+current+UA+president+Ann+Weaver+Hart.
Daniyal Arshad

Vice Chair Bill Ridenour speaks at the UA Presidential Search Advisory Committee meeting Wednesday, Nov. 16, in the Student Union Memorial Center. The committee has begun discussions with prospects to replace current UA president Ann Weaver Hart.

There are fewer than 20 applicants left in the UA presidential search and they will begin interviewing this month, according to Bill Ridenour, chair of the UA Presidential Search Committee.

Ridenour added that the committee intends to begin interviews within the next week.

These interviews mark the beginning of the end for the presidential search. After these meetings, Ridenour hopes to put forward a finalist to the Arizona Board of Regents.

According to Ridenour the search committee could hire a new president as soon as next month.

“It depends on whether the committee, and more importantly the board of regents is satisfied that we have the proper person to lead the UA,” Ridenour said. “I feel the prospect pool is strong enough that we can make a decision by early March.”

Ridenour also mentioned that the finalist may not arrive at the UA immediately due to any preoccupation they might have.

RELATED: Search for new UA president takes shape

The board has made no decision whether to have a campus visit before choosing the next president.

“I would say it’s unlikely,” Ridenour said. “I am not closing the door on that. We’ve got eight regents and they will make that decision.”

Although the committee is nearing the end of their search, no information has been made public about the applicants.

The UA presidential search has been on-going since last year. In June President Ann Weaver Hart announced her plan to leave the office by the end of the 2018 academic year. The regents then set up a search committee to find a new president. The committee had their first meeting last October and and consists of 27 members, many with business backgrounds. There are two students, three current UA academics, a handful of UA administrators and some regents.

RELATED: UA Presidential Search Committee talks expectations for President Hart’s successor

The committee also hired an executive search firm, R. William Funk and Associates, to help with the process. Among other tasks these firms are employed for, they help the committee create a large group of applicants.

It is not unusual for these sort of searches to have hundreds of prospects in the beginning of the the process. However, many of these people never know their names are in the pool.

The firm and committee then narrow down the number of applicants to a small group of hopefuls. Once they have a workable number, the committee begins interviewing to select one or more finalists.

Ultimately the finalists will be voted on by the board and the university will have its next president.


Follow J.D. Molinary on Twitter.


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