Search Committee Chooses National Firm

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Hap McSweenThe UT Knoxville Chancellor Search Committee is now working with a national search firm.

In a bid process, Parker Executive Search was chosen on Feb. 27 to assist with the chancellor search. The firm has been used by UT before, including the most recent provost search.

On March 3, the committee met with a representative of Parker Executive Search to discuss the search.

"The firm will be helping us administratively with the search," said Hap McSween, search committee chairman, "but their main job is in developing candidates."

In leadership searches at this level, McSween said, many candidates come from search firm referrals in addition to responses to advertisements.

"The type of person we want already has a good job," he said. "This type of candidate responds best when approached on a personal level and given additional information that may help them decide to compete for the position."

Formerly known as Baker Parker and Associates, the firm’s Web site says Parker Executive Search executes their "proven expertise in the search process to ensure the client’s successful identification and recruitment of the most highly qualified senior executives."

Advertisements have been placed in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education and Diverse Issues in Higher Education. To view these ads, see the search Web site: http://chancellor.utk.edu/search/.

"We have received responses from those ads, and we expect the search firm will develop additional applications," McSween said.

The search committee represents many of the university’s stakeholder groups.

"We have representatives from the city of Knoxville, the national UT alumni association, the UT Board of Trustees, as well as students, faculty and staff," McSween said. "I’ve been impressed by how hard they’ve worked already on the search."

Committee members are listed on the search Web site.

The search committee plans to accept applications until the middle of July. The committee then will begin investigating applicants’ credentials and references and draw up a list of primary candidates to visit the campus in September.

The on-campus interview process will include open forums so the campus community can meet the candidates, pose questions and offer reactions to the committee. These forums will be held only during a full academic semester to ensure that any member of the campus community can participate. The forums will be video streamed live and also archived to ensure the widest participation.

"We want to provide the maximum access possible for the campus community to meet the candidates, and vice versa," McSween said.

Community feedback on the candidates is very important to the process, he said.

"Everyone who interacts with them will have the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions with the committee, and we will consider them all before making our recommendation to President Petersen," McSween said.

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