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CWU Presidential Search Draws Large and Diverse Pool

The Trustee Search Advisory Committee (TSAC) for the CWU presidential search will have an impressive pool of applicants to consider, according to the executive search consultant, R. William “Bill” Funk of Dallas-based R. William Funk and Associates. With more than 48 diverse and highly qualified candidates, the committee will begin reviewing applications next week and will interview semi-finalists in October.

Each member of the search committee and the Board of Trustees will sign a non-disclosure agreement to ensure the confidentiality of the applicants. Funk, told the board that, while he is not at liberty yet to share any names, “you will be impressed with the quality of candidates who are active candidates or have expressed their intent to be active candidates.”

Funk said his firm has been in touch with 163 candidates, who have either applied for the position, been contacted by his company, or nominated. Of that number, 48 have already applied or indicated they will apply, with more likely to come as the September 30 deadline nears. He added that of the 163 potential candidates, 53 are women and 45 are people of color.

“I think you’re going to have 60 to 60-plus active candidates once we’ve reached the deadline,” he said. “I’m very pleased with the quality of the candidate pool.”

Based on the consultant’s report, the board agreed that the September 30 deadline for applications would not have to be extended.

TSAC chair, Trustee Erin Black, said the next step in the process will be for Funk and his firm to review the applications in order to narrow down the list by identifying the best qualified candidates. Once that is done, the search committee will review and further refine the list of candidates, interview the top eight to ten candidates, and recommend finalists to the entire Board of Trustees, who will interview them in November.

Central’s current President, James L. Gaudino, announced in late February that he will step down from his post on July 31, 2021.

“We’ll be looking not only at the academic and professional credentials of the candidates but also at how they will fit into the culture of Central Washington University,” Black said. “From the listening sessions we conducted earlier this year, I think the committee collectively has a pretty clear idea of our culture and what we’re looking for in our next president.”

Funk said candidates indicated two primary reasons for seeking the position: Central’s desirable location in Ellensburg and in the Pacific Northwest, and the university’s mission statement, which emphasizes student success. He said he expected his firm’s review of the applications to be completed by early October.

Media contact: Linda Schactler, Secretary to the Board of Trustees, 509-963-1384, schactler@cwu.edu.

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