From Eric Kelderman at the Chronicle, thanks to a regular reader for forwarding:
After being chosen in a closed search process, F. King Alexander didn’t last a whole year as president at Oregon State University. Now, the university’s Board of Trustees is taking a different approach to appoint his successor. …
The Oregon State board named Alexander president in December 2019, after considering four finalists who were not named publicly. Finalists met only confidentially with a “stakeholder group” of 25 members that included a handful of faculty members and students.
But incredibly, the OSU board still won’t admit they screwed up:
At Oregon State, the surprise and backlash about Alexander’s hiring was in part because board members seemed to not have considered his role in responding to charges of sexual misconduct at Louisiana State, despite the fact the controversy had been covered widely at the time.
In response, the board did a review of the entire search process, including a look at what the search firm and their own background check may have overlooked.
From that review, the board said, it was clear that a more open search was needed, including “announcing finalists, providing an opportunity for broad community engagement with finalists, and soliciting feedback on finalists before the Board makes its final decision” the board concluded in its review.
The board will also conduct its own background check, using a different company than the search firm, said Manning, the board member. The extra step is part of a “robust due-diligence process,” she said, but not necessarily a sign that there was anything wrong with the last search.
“I did not see any indication of a flawed process,” [Trustee] Manning said.
Despite the new process, some faculty members say the board has taken only token steps to involve the campus and community. Bringing finalists to campus is an improvement, Kathleen Stanley, a senior instructor in sociology and president of the faculty union, wrote in an email. But it’s not yet clear how the public can engage with the finalists or how their feedback will be used to evaluate the candidates, she added.