The Presidential Search Committee of the SOU Board of Trustees will begin first-round interviews by the start of October with candidates to become the university’s next president, and plans to select and interview finalists for the position by the end of October. SOU President Linda Schott announced in April that she will retire by the end of this year.
“We have enjoyed high levels of engagement every step of the way, and I am pleased to report that we received more than 100 applicants expressing their interest in becoming SOU’s next president,” Danny Santos, the search committee chair and Board of Trustees vice chair, said this week in a message to campus.
“This is extraordinary and could not have been accomplished without the help of every person on campus who has engaged in the search process, in ways both big and small,” Santos said.
The search committee already has narrowed the list of applicants to 12 top candidates who will be included in first-round interviews over the coming days. The committee’s tentative schedule calls for three to five finalists to be interviewed on-campus – unless COVID-19 conditions require remote or hybrid options – the weeks of October 11, 18 and 25. Each finalist will be interviewed over two days in a process that will enable participation by various segments of the campus community, including students, faculty and staff.
“We are unable to announce the exact dates for these visits until we know who the finalists will be and can confirm their plans for travel to southern Oregon,” Santos said. “We will notify the entire campus and members of the public of specific details when more information is available.
“I urge members of the campus community to be as flexible as possible with their schedules throughout the period in October when finalists will visit campus,” he said. “Your engagement and feedback will be of tremendous value in the decision-making process, for SOU and the candidates.”
The SOU Board of Trustees selected Parker Executive Search in May to help identify and recruit candidates for the university’s presidency, and appointed a diverse, 18-member Presidential Search Committee composed of five trustees, three students, three faculty members, three staff members, three community members and one Oregon university president. Parker is a firm that specializes in higher education presidential searches.
Santos said the university is committed to making the interview and hiring processes as inclusive and transparent as possible, whether it occurs fully on campus or COVID restrictions require other approaches. The identities of finalists will be made public and opportunities for interactions with them will exist regardless of the interview formats. Santos emphasized that a priority is to ensure the safety of SOU’s campus community and all candidates for the position.
The latest information on the presidential search can be found at sou.edu/presidentialsearch.