For those wondering how the Texas-based firm of R. William Funk & Associates will aid the Board Search Committee in finding the next executive leader for the University of Mississippi, the firm’s founder and CEO, Bill Funk, clarified a few of the firm’s responsibilities at Tuesday’s first listening session for Ole Miss alumni.
“[My job is] to develop as strong and deep a pool of candidates as we possibly can,” he said. “I think it will be an asset for someone to have some affinity to the university. That’s certainly a plus, but we’re looking for the best individual we can find.”
Together with the Board and Search Advisory Committee, the firm is using input from university stakeholders to culminate a list of attributes the next chancellor should possess. Candidates who most directly match up with these attributes will be considered for the position. Resumes of potential candidates will be sent to the search firm, which will work directly with the Search Advisory Committee to determine the most eligible candidates.
“We will talk about best practices and we will do a lot of background checking on prime candidates,” Funk said. “[The firm] will help orchestrate in any way we can the process and procedures to bring people through these processes.”
Funk said the university president and chancellor recruitment environment is extremely competitive because there are a number of active searches going on in all areas of the country at any given point.
However, he feels that Ole Miss has entered the search at a good time. “I think in the summer, candidates are more willing to talk to you and consider the opportunity,” he said. “It used to be that presidential and chancellor searches would always begin in the fall and end in the spring, and the person would come over in the summer to begin their new duties. Today we’re beginning and ending these searches every month of the year. It’s remarkable to me.”
Funk also believes that Ole Miss will be appealing to candidates. “We have a compelling story to tell potential candidates about the University of Mississippi,” he said. “And certainly we’ll call upon the members of the Board to make that sell.”
The Board invites anyone to submit nominations for the next chancellor or expressions of interest to R. William Funk & Associates. Applicants may apply until Sept. 1 for best consideration.
Beth Harmon is managing editor for HottyToddy.com. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.