Wilkes presidential search identifies ideal candidate traits

Kirstin Cook, Editor-in-Chief

The search to find a replacement for President Joseph (Tim) Gilmour next year has begun with an accumulation of traits important for the next president. Steve Leo, search consultant from Storbeck/Pimental & Associates, is organizing idealistic traits for the processor, which are gathered from faculty, staff and students.
The main tool Leo is using to collect expectations for candidates is through an online survey posted in the summer, which will remain open until early October.
Enthusiasm about Wilkes is one thing that stands out to Leo within faculty, staff and students.
“I think people are very passionate about the university … so I think that people who will be attracted to this position are going to need to match that passion,” Leo said.  The results of the forum and the survey will shape the job description that will be publicized. Virginia Sikes, chair of the search committee, said the top responses in the survey have already aided in the construction of the description through background information about Wilkes and a list of desired experiences and opportunities.
“They’re already feeding into the job description … these things that are highly ranked, it’s no surprise that they’re showing up there,” Sikes said.
Sikes said these top-ranking responses are going to be areas the committee will focus on when they recommend final candidates to the board of trustees, which will ultimately decide the next president.
“There’s not going to be a person who can do the 300 things that we’ve heard so far would be desired, but those that you hear a lot you’re going to have those in the back of your mind when you’re trying to decide,” Sikes said.
Sikes said student input is vital and will affect the search.
Alexandra Madaya, a junior history major who is one of the student representatives on the search committee, thinks it is important to show up to forums and fill out the survey.
A close relationship with the future president is one of the incentives that Madaya said should encourage students to make their voice heard.
“This is our school,” Madaya said.  “We are close to many of our professors. We are close to many of the faculty. Why shouldn’t we be close to our president?”
Sikes encouraged all faculty, staff and students to take the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WilkesPresidentialSearchSurvey. Even after the survey is over, she urges anyone to share thoughts with student and faculty representatives on the committee and feel free to recommend candidates. For more information, see the presidential search page on http://www.wilkes.edu/pages/4448.asp.

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