More than 100 applicants are seeking to become the next president at Fort Lewis College.
An update on the school’s search for its next leader came at Friday’s meeting of the Board of Trustees and included information that applicants came from as far away as Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
The search committee, which meets in private to protect the identity of applicants who will not be revealed until finalists are named, is expected to meet next week to whittle the 120 candidates down to 10 to 12.
The dozen or so candidates, whose names also will not be released, will meet in Denver with the Presidential Search Committee on March 15-16 in airport interviews. From the pool of candidates granted an airport interview, three or four will be named as finalists.
The names of finalists will be made public, and each of them will be scheduled for visits to the campus and Durango in late March and early April.
The next president of FLC is expected to be named April 15.
FLC’s current president, Dene Thomas, will retire at the end of the academic year. Thomas’ successor is expected to assume his or her duties July 1.
FLC Trustee Dick Kaufman, who heads the search committee, said the committee is also researching and establishing a compensation package.
Thomas currently earns $260,000 annually and is provided with the use of a house and a car.
The executive search firm Witt/Kieffer led the recruitment process, and the final 120 applicants exceeded the firm’s estimate that 80 applicants would be received.
FLC’s Vice President and Provost Barbara Morris, who was recently named new president of State University of New York Oneonta, said all SUNY Oneonta finalists were required to negotiate their compensation package before an offer was made to any one of them.
“All negotiations had happened ahead of time,” she said.
Kaufman said the Presidential Search Committee would examine following a similar process, but currently the intention is to offer the job to one of the finalists, and then to negotiate a compensation package.
Glenna Sexton, vice president for academic affairs, stressed the importance of having a reception to allow the community beyond FLC an opportunity to meet finalists.
And former state Sen. Ellen Roberts, who should be confirmed as a trustee in the state Senate next week, suggested candidates meet with local high school students and counselors.