Committee formed for BOR director hiring process

Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown

A constituent panel has been selected to help search the position of Board of Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry, who will retire on July 1.

“We’ve used constituent panels for presidential searches before,” said Terry Baloun, president of the BOR. “It’s a tool that we use quite commonly.”

On March 30 however, Harvey Jewett, the former president of the BOR and current Regent, said that no constituent panel would be used.

“I decided that the Regents would prefer to handle this as a committee of the whole so no committee per se has been formed,” said Jewett in a signed letter on March 30. “The Regents sitting as a committee will interview the finalist candidates.”

The new constituent panel is made up of people that were chosen by Perry, with the input of Baloun. The panel was finalized at the April 9 BOR meeting.

“Many of the people involved on the panel have been used in other presidential searches,” said Baloun.

Also at the April 9 meeting, the Board narrowed down the 25 people who applied for Perry’s position to eight finalists that were interviewed by the Board and the constituent panel April 21 and 22. The meeting was held in Sioux Falls at the Ramkota Inn and Sanford School of Medical Health Science Center.

“In a perfect world, we would find our candidate to be selected at the [April 21 to 22] meeting,” said Baloun. “The goal is to find a permanent solution and not just an interim.”

Some of the original 25 applicants were found through search consultant, Elaine Hairston. Others applied in response to advertisements that were published in professional publications or through a nomination process.

Baloun said that most of the final candidates would not want to be an interim director because they already have high-level positions. If they are selected, it will because they were hired as executive director, he said.

The interview meetings are being held in executive session because confidentiality contracts have been signed between applicants and the Board, Baloun said. The Board does not want to cause problems with the candidates’ current employers if they were to find out the candidate had applied for another job.

“We could change that though if we narrow it down to two or three finalists,” said Baloun. “In that case, we would want to make it public and discuss it with the candidates about releasing their names.”

The new constituent panel for the search for Perry’s replacement is made up of a variety of 22 people from different universities in South Dakota.

“We tried to make the panel equal as far as the individuals’ genders, institutions they are from and positions at their universities,” said Baloun.

“I’m very pleased with the constituent group we have put together,” said Baloun. “All of our volunteers are strong supporters of the education system.”

“Although [Perry] is not retiring until July 1, the Board and constituent panel hope to find someone sooner if it is possible,” said Baloun.