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The Blue & Gray Press | August 17, 2018

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Help Wanted: New President

Due to President Hample’s resignation last Friday, the Board of Visitors now faces the challenge of finding a new president for the University of Mary Washington.

BOV Rector Nanalou Sauder is unsure of the route they will take to find a president to follow Hample.

“There is a lot of sentiment for doing something a little different,” Sauder said.  “So far I’ve had lots of communications, and they’ve been thoughtful.  Everybody is listening to take a broad view of how we’ll go about this.”

Executive Vice President Rick Hurley emphasized that the new president should know the dynamics of the university.

“It needs to be someone closely associated with the university,” Hurley said.  “Each institution has its own culture.  The better someone understands that culture, the easier this task will be.”

Greenwood/Asher and Associates , a consulting group, assisted the last presidential search in 2007, after President Frawley was terminated.  The cost of the consulting firm was $92,500 plus travel and expenses, as reported by the Bullet in September 2007.

According to Hurley, the cost of a presidential search ranges from $100,000 to $150,000, depending on travel costs for various candidates.  This money comes from institutional funds.

Janet Greenwood, president and CEO of Greenwood/Asher and Associates said Hample’s resignation came to her unexpectedly.

“That is obviously fast,” Greenwood said.  “I was surprised she was departing that quickly.”

When Hample was hired in 2008, the method  was much more confidential than the previous search when former President William Frawley was hired.

The search for Hample did not include the forums and student input  like when Frawley was hired. Instead, the BOV “work[ed] behind closed doors with Greenwood and Associates and a Presidential Search Advisory Committee,” as reported by the Bullet in September 2007.

Former BOV Rector William Poole attributes these differences to the circumstances when the presidents were respectively hired.

Martin Wilder, dean of enrollment and student services, said each method has advantages and disadvantages.

“Oftentimes [the closed search] is done if you want a candidate pool of people serving in high capacities,” he said.  “You might attract a stronger applicant pool.”

Sauder said the BOV has not yet had a chance to evaluate the current situation.

Although she said the board has not discussed a plan yet, it will soon.

“There are some non-traditional ideas going around,” Sauder said.

Junior Erin Burke thinks the search method needs to change.

“I think they should use a new search committee or a new search technique,” Burke said.  “We should have a president who is the face of UMW, present to the student body, approachable and who can also fulfill the duties that come with the job.”

Hurley hopes the next president will exemplify the characteristics of the former two presidents.

“It sounds cliché, but we need to find someone with the qualities that both Frawley and Hample brought to the position,” Hurley said.

–Ryan Marr contributed to this report.