February 3, 2000
The Board of Regents of Washington State University met pursuant to call in Open Meeting at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 3, 2000, in the Lewis Alumni Centre, Pullman.
Present: Peter J. Goldmark, President; Regents: Kenneth Alhadeff, Richard R. Albrecht, Bernadett Buchanan (in Open Session Only), Phyllis Campbell, Richard A. Davis (via conference phone through the Executive Session) Robert D. Fukai, Joe King, William H. Marler (via conference phone through the Executive Session) and Carmen Otero; President Samuel H. Smith, Provost Gretchen Bataille, Vice President for Business Affairs Gregory Royer, Vice President for Administration Sally P. Savage, Faculty Senate Chair Peter Burke, Alumni Association President Shari Friedenrich, GPSA President Stephen Kuehn, and ASWSU President Steve Wymer.
1. Opening. Regent Peter Goldmark opened the meeting.
2. Executive Session. The Board of Regents convened in Executive Session for one hour and fifteen minutes to discuss candidate qualifications for the position of president. At 1:20 p.m., the Regents reconvened in open session.
3. Update on Presidential Search. Regent Peter Goldmark stated that the Presidential Search has been ongoing for the past seven months. He reported that the search committee had been composed of members of the University community who were appointed last fall to assist in the recruitment and screening of candidates for president. He said that this group was representative of the University community, consisting of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and supporters of Washington State University, and that they had worked diligently throughout the fall to evaluate a significant number of presidential candidates.
Regent Goldmark reported that the criteria by which the candidates were evaluated had been based upon input received from the University community. He mentioned that he had met with various groups and received written comments from many individuals addressing their views regarding the qualities that should be sought in a new president. He said that this was a very important and pivotal part of the process, which provided the foundation for the selection process.
Regent Goldmark reported that the search committee learned a great deal about Washington State University during this process, including its strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities. He mentioned that the process had brought the Board of Regents into closer alignment with the institution in ways that will be beneficial to Washington State University through the years ahead. He said one thing that became clear through this process was that there are literally hundreds of people–faculty, students, staff, regents and friends– throughout the institution who are deeply committed to the success of our University.
Regent Goldmark thanked the search committee members who devoted a great deal of personal time and energy to the process. He said that without the hard work performed by these individuals, the University would not be where it is today. He named the committee members and asked them to stand. They included: Regents Phyllis Campbell and Ken Alhadeff; faculty members Shira Broschat, Patty Sias, Jim Cook, and Jane Lawrence; staff members Barbara Aston and Dory Lohrey-Birch; Dean Hal Dengerink; students Angelique Grant and Todd Dunham; alumnus Richard Lemargie; and WSU Foundation President Jack Creighton.
Regent Goldmark said that it was important to mention that the committee worked closely with the search consultant Ted Ford Webb. He stated that, from his perspective, beginning with the initiation of the process through today and probably beyond, Ted Ford Webb has provided counsel and guidance of unparalleled proportion to make sure the search was carried out in a straight forward and intellectually honest manner. Regent Goldmark thanked Ted Ford Webb for his tremendous contributions.
Regent Goldmark reported that the committee had delivered to the Board of Regents a pool of candidates in late December of 1999 and that in January of 2000, the Board interviewed individuals from that pool. He said they expended a good deal of time and energy in reviewing the pool. He said that it is fair to say that the Board has come to many of the same conclusions that the search committee did, and that the Board has come to a choice that has many positive components for the University.
Regent Goldmark mentioned that it was important to recognize that the candidate have leadership understanding of higher education, the ability to formulate a management team, as well as the ability to motivate people. These qualities have been foremost in the minds of the committee and the Board of Regents as they have reviewed the candidates.
Regent Goldmark asked if any members of the board would like to comment from their perspective on the search process.
Regent Ken Alhadeff, who served on the search committee, said that he has seen “all the pieces of the puzzle.” He said it had been an incredible and open process, and one that had been honest, involved, and meticulous. He stated that the voices of WSU were heard through e-mail, letters, and the many meetings held with many on- and off-campus groups. He noted that he thought all parties on the search committee brought their own passions to the process and that they were able to bring these together to work for the betterment of the University. He said that it was very collaborative and a lot of hard work, and that in the end, there were clear choices of individuals that should be presented to the Board for its consideration. He stated that the Regents are charged with making the hiring decision, as that is what the Governor had appointed each of them to do. He said he also felt that the Regents were completely aware of what the campus community thinks about this issue. He stated that he thought this was one of the more important things he would be involved in as a Regent and that he has dedicated his life to honesty and integrity, which he felt was shown throughout the search process.
Regent Phyllis Campbell said the criteria for their choice was developed through input by the entire University community and that much time was spent gathering this input. She stated that this was foremost in their minds throughout the process. She said that the people on the Committee were first-class individuals, and that, although they did not always agree and there was tremendous diversity of thought, that it strengthened the process. She said she believed that this was a terrific process and had learned a lot just by her interaction. She also said she thought the community could feel good that their interests were represented.
Regent Richard Albrecht mentioned that he saw the results of the Committee’s work and felt that any of the candidates submitted could have led the University, but that the Regents’ job was to choose the best one. He said that he felt comfortable with where the process has led, and thanked the Committee for its hard work.
Regent Goldmark said that, as a member of the search committee, he had the unique privilege of talking with many individuals at the senior management level in many other institutions of higher education. He mentioned that the perspective of WSU from the outside is a very positive one. He stated that all candidates were enthusiastic because of their view that WSU is a great institution and their belief that WSU will achieve even higher rewards and objectives in the future under strong leadership. He reported that, through his communication with many outside of the University, he believed the challenges WSU faces are not unique to WSU. He said that we do have many distinctive areas, which were reaffirmed by the candidates with whom they spoke.
Regent Rob Fukai reported that the candidate pool forwarded to the Regents by the search committee was of high quality and caliber. He said that it became the Regents responsibility to sift through these and try to decide the best fit for this moment in time at WSU. He said that there was one particular candidate, although he was impressed with the attributes of all of them, that had an extremely good handle on the issues of a land-grant institution and the issues facing WSU. He believed this individual came across with the right kind of style to engage everyone at the University.
Regent Alhadeff added that there needed to be a blend of intelligence, integrity and compassion, along with a sense of professionalism and zeal. He said that there are times when certain people rise and stand above, and that this is one of those times.
Regent Carmen Otero stated that all Regents were involved in the process and thanked Regent Goldmark for his continual updates throughout the process. She said that each of them made their decision independently and she was comfortable with the decision.
Regent Goldmark stated that the process would note be complete without campus interviews, so the next step would be to move on to this end component. He stated that the person chosen had risen through the ranks as a faculty member, department chair, administrator at Washington State University, and moved along to administration at other institutions and was now a sitting president at another institution. He mentioned that all of these unique attributes made this candidate a good fit for WSU.
4. Campus Interviews. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents bring Dr. Lane Rawlins, President of the University of Memphis to Washington State University for interviews. Carried.
Regent Goldmark commented that the Board would endeavor to bring Dr. Rawlins to campus early next week and a full agenda will be scheduled to maximize his visit with as many groups as possible.
The Regents’ meeting adjourned at 1:41 p.m.