Faculty Senate members voted by a narrow margin to endorse an open search for the next provost.
No discussion proceeded the 13-12-3 vote, but it has been a topic of conversation in the Senate since the search to permanently fill the spot began.
Arguments for an open search included transparency and the ability for faculty to meet with candidates prior to their hiring. Proponents of a closed search said that it allows candidates to look at a position without having to reveal their search to their current institution.
President Jim Danko has said that he would like the committee to decide whether or not to hold an open search. He said there is also discussion of whether an outside firm will be brought in to help identify candidates.
The committee’s stance has not been released.
Interim Provost Kathryn Morris also announced a change to the background check policy for new hires at the meeting.
The background checks will now take place before an offer is extended instead of before a candidate can come to campus. The change was prompted by search committees’ concerns about the time the background checks take and the threat of losing candidates in the meantime.
“We can still do the background checks,” Morris told the Senate, “but we don’t have to delay the search.”