I saw three of the four semi-finalists for UNO’s president during their public interviews this week. Overall, they were good candidates. Tomorrow the search committee will choose 2 finalists to go forward. I think the two finalists are likely to be Dr. Fos and Dr. Wartell. Both candidates have their strong points, but I think Wartell has a bit of an edge given his past experience at the president/chancellor level.
Below is the text of my email letter that I sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone can submit comments to this email address. There is also a final public comment period tomorrow (Friday 12/02/11) at 10:00am in the Homer Hitt Alumni Center at UNO. I am unable to attend tomorrow, so I sent the following email:
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing regarding the University of New Orleans’ (UNO) presidential search. Having attended 3 of the 4 public interviews held this week, I would like to communicate my thoughts about the process and candidates. I am unable to attend tomorrow’s meeting, but still wanted to provide written feedback. I am a doctoral student in higher education administration at UNO where I also work part-time in the Office of Institutional Research & Data Management.
I appreciate the transparency of the process and the opportunities for public comment and engagement throughout. As someone who studies the organizational behavior of college and universities, being able to witness aspects of the search and selection processes has been valuable to me.
I was not able to attend the public interview with Dr. Scanes. My comments will reflect impressions of the candidates I did see: Dr. Goodman, Dr. Fos, and Dr. Wartell. Although all three of these candidates would be qualified to become UNO’s president, I feel that Doctors Fos and Wartell are the best candidates. Both of these candidates have an adequate breadth of experiences in academic leadership in order to lead a complex and diversified university, like UNO.
From my review of their resumes/c.v.’s and my observations in the public interviews, I would rank Dr. Wartell as my top choice to become the next leader– the first president– of UNO. Dr. Wartell’s past experience as the Chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne is what ultimately made me rank him as my top candidate. Given the complexities of UNO as an institution and the currently state policy environment for postsecondary education in Louisiana, I believe that we need a leader who has significant leadership experience at top levels of higher education administration. We should not chose someone whose leadership is untested. Based on my evaluation, Dr. Wartell has the most high-level leadership experience of the 3 candidates whose interviews I attended.
I hope that my comments are helpful. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Lindsey B. Jakiel, Ed.M.
Doctoral Student, Higher Education Administration
University of New Orleans