Queen's University

Principal search committee invites Queen's community input


An email has been sent to members of the Queen's community inviting them to comment on what they believe are the key attributes required by the next Principal.

Queen's community members have until Aug. 4 to comment on what they believe are the key attributes required by the next principal.

An email was sent recently to members of the university community to ask them for comment. This is another important step in the global search process that began in May with the appointment of the Joint Board/Senate Advisory Search Committee to Select the Principal with nine representatives from each governance body. The committee's mandate is to recommend a candidate to the Board of Trustees.

As noted by Chancellor David Dodge, who chairs the committee, it's important for the Queen's community to convey what it sees to be the ideal candidate for advancing the philosophy and values of Queen's. This goes beyond what he defined as the fundamental requirements: being an academic leader; someone who can represent Queen's to its external stakeholders and someone capable of acting as CEO of a large complex enterprise.

After the Aug. 4 deadline, the committee will review the responses at its next meeting in mid-August. After that, it will establish a preliminary list of any qualified internal and external candidates.

At its first meeting on Friday, June 20, the search committee selected Russell Reynolds Associates, a global executive search firm, to assist in the search. The lead consultant is Shawn Cooper, Country Manager for Canada, and a Queen's business graduate.

The search firm, which acts as an agent of the Committee, was selected after a subcommittee interviewed four firms. Chosen for its “broad reach and knowledge about Queen's,” Russell Reynolds Associates will commence in July researching what the Queen's community is looking for in its next principal.

The search committee also discussed the importance of confidentiality to maintain the integrity of the process and to protect the privacy of candidates. Committee members signed a confidentially agreement in keeping with a motion passed by Senate at its May 21 meeting asking that they “scrupulously and conscientiously observe the rules of confidentiality.”

“I am confident that everyone is committed to doing their best for Queen's,” says Chancellor Dodge.

He notes that the committee expects to have a “very short list” by early in the new year and be in a position to make a recommendation to the board of Trustees in time to announce a new Principal by the summer of 2009.

The Chancellor notes the intense competition of the post-secondary sector today when it comes to attracting and retaining faculty and students.

“Given the external environment, it's important to have an advocate for Queen's who also works well internally,” he says.

“I'm optimistic that we are on a track to enable Queen's to continue to make unique contributions to Canada while preserving a close to ideal learning environment, despite real external challenges.”

The key will be to embrace Queen's philosophy and commitment to teaching, learning and research, he says.

“The principal must lead within that environment, one that is different from other Canadian universities. And we need to go to the community at large to ensure we are right.”


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Last updated at 5:55 am EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
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