Process begins to find new chancellor

10/25/2006
By From the Lowell Sun

By MATT MURPHY, Sun Statehouse Bureau

BOSTON -- The search committee charged with finding a new chancellor to lead the University of Massachusetts Lowell aims to present a list of finalists to UMass President Jack Wilson by March.

"That's the goal. And I think it's reasonable, but we will certainly re-evaluate as we go along through the process," said David Mead-Fox, a senior client partner with the Boston-based consulting firm Korn/Ferry International.

The 21-member search panel held its second meeting in Boston yesterday, sitting down for the first time with Mead-Fox to discuss the search strategy.

Korn/Ferry International, one of the nation's premiere executive recruitment firms, was chosen by a subcommittee of the search panel to lead the search.

Though the 21-member panel has yet to start laying out parameters for what qualifications they would like to see in a new chancellor, committee member John William Poduska made it clear he wants the search to be as comprehensive as possible.

Several committee members told Mead-Fox it would be important for prospective candidates to understand how UMass Lowell, and the city itself, are growing and evolving, particularly in the fields of engineering and nanotechnology.

In a lead-up to the UMass Lowell board of trustees meeting in early November, Mead-Fox said he will begin discussions with committee members and recommended members of the Lowell community to gauge what qualities are wanted in a new chancellor.

He will also meet with constituent groups from the university representing faculty, students and others on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 at the trustees ' meeting.

Mead-Fox said he expects about 150 candidates to be included on the initial list, which he will whittle down to between 24 to 36. Interviews could begin in late December.

After the first round of interviews are completed, the committee will invite the semifinalists to tour the Lowell campus.

At that time, the names of the candidates will be made public. All 21 committee members yesterday were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, and Mead-Fox said any leaks could prove to be seriously disruptive to the process.

The search committee will not select the new chancellor, but rather recommend three to five finalists to UMass President Jack Wilson for a final decision and vote by the UMass board of trustees.