The much ballyhooed “national search” for CSU’s next president has finally commenced. Take a gander at the “profile” currently displayed on the Board’s portion of the University’s web site. Although I found the profile disquieting, please make your own determination about what is happening with this search. Most important, the “profile” is almost devoid of qualifications. Here’s what we’re apparently looking for. A “mission-centered, courageous, accountable, experienced, student-centered, skilled academician; a “truswworthy” “financial strategist” who is “a principled strategic thinker” and “agent of change,” “creative and inspirational, charismatic and thought-provoking.” Not a single actual qualification in all that verbiage or am I missing something? The only actual qualification has to do with fundraising. According to the “profile,” the new president must be a “high energy and tenacious fundraiser with major gift experience.”
No minimum academic qualifications or relevant administrative experience required?
Other than being a “proven scholar” whatever that means, no requirement that the new president be eligible for appointment as a full professor? In fact, the new president need not even be qualified for appointment as an Assistant Professor. Is a GED sufficient, or must the successful applicant have actually completed high school?
Nearly a century ago, William McAdoo purportedly described Warren Harding’s speeches as “an army of pompous phrases moving across the landscape in search of an idea.” With an apology to Mr. McAdoo, this “profile” strikes me as an army of pompous clichés moving across the landscape in search of a qualification. I understand that most job announcements are pieces of fluff, but for comparison, here’s part of a recent search announcement from Northeastern Illinois. You’ll note that a “terminal degree” is a requirement, and that an appointment as full professor is a preferred qualification.
“The president must hold a terminal degree from an accredited institution and demonstrate progressive administrative leadership experience. It is preferred that the president have credentials to be appointed as a professor with tenure.” Here’s the link:
Now, here’s an edited version of our “profile”:
DESIRED LEADERSHIP ATTRIBUTES
The successful candidate for this position will possess the following attributes:
1) A MISSION-CENTERED LEADER
CSU desires a leader with a sense of urgency who will hit the ground running in establishing relationships needed for building CSU; be prepared to roll up their sleeves and dive in to expanding their role in the community.
2) A COURAGEOUS AND ACCOUNTABLE LEADER
3) AN EXPERIENCED STUDENT-CENTERED LEADER
4) A SKILLED ACADEMICIAN
They must be a proven scholar.
5) A TRUSTWORTHY LEADER
6) A FINANCIAL STRATEGIST
7) A PRINCIPLED LEADER
8) A HIGH ENERGY AND TENACIOUS FUNDRAISER WITH MAJOR GIFT EXPERIENCE
9) A STRATEGIC THINKER AND AGENT OF CHANGE
10) A CREATIVE and INSPIRATIONAL LEADER
The next president must also be a charismatic and thought-provoking leader.
Here’s the link:
One final thought. Again, the literary quality of our search material is substandard. This information should not look like a hastily written blog post. It should be polished and free of errors. Why can’t we do this? We have a number of distinguished authors on the faculty who are actually capable of writing in English. Why don’t we use them to proof read material designed for the public that reflects on the entire university community? Why do we continually have to look like we simply don’t care? Or worse, that we simply don’t know? I have to admit that I will watch this search unfold with some trepidation.