P O W E L L, W y o. - Northwest College is on its way to selecting a new president after 47 applications were received by the target cutoff date of Jan. 15. In the next few weeks, the pool will be narrowed down by a 15-person search committee.
Northwest launched the nationwide search this fall following the announcement by President Miles LaRowe that he would retire at the end of the 2007-08 academic year. The position was advertised in the Chronicle of Higher Education as well as in newspapers in Cody, Powell and Billings, Mont. Information was also posted on both the NWC Web site and the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) site.
Early in the process, a presidential search brochure was mailed to over 4,000 potential candidates from a list provided by the ACCT. Seven of the applications received were from individuals included in the brochure mailing list. Of the 47 applicants, 39 have doctoral degrees.
Jim Vogt, president of the NWC Board of Trustees and chair of the presidential search committee, said that while the number of applications received is down from previous searches, it isn't unexpected. The last presidential search, conducted in 2003, yielded 65 applications.
"This is a national trend a lot of colleges and universities are seeing right now," Vogt said. "The president's role has become so much more involved over the years. It's more of a job now than it ever was. Other regional community college searches in the past couple years have also drawn a decreased number of applicants. I think our pool exceeded some of those."
The search committee that will evaluate the applicants and eventually make a recommendation to the NWC Board of Trustees is comprised of five trustees, a representative from both the NWC Foundation and Alumni Association Boards, one student, two faculty representatives, one representative from each of the other three employee constituency groups and the vice presidents for academic and student affairs. The college's human resources director serves in an ex-officio role, and a presidential search liaison is handling the search logistics.
Vogt said after narrowing the pool, the committee will determine how to proceed in evaluating the candidates. The ACCT recommends a process that includes a rating system, telephone interviews and visits to the campuses of at least three top candidates.
"Right now, we're working to get a good feel for the candidates based on the information each one has submitted," Vogt said. "After we have a better understanding of the pool, we'll define the process and how we want to proceed."
The goal is to have a president on board by the start of fall semester 2008. Click here for more information about the search.