Presidential Search Firm Announces that Search Will Be Closed

At a forum held to discuss Frostburg State University’s presidential search, Patrick Friel, an FSU alumnus and managing partner of the executive search firm, announced that the presidential search will be a closed search.

Candidates will not be named until a selection is made, and the search committee will probably not inform the FSU community about what stage of the process the search is in, according to Friel, who graduated from FSU in 1988. Friel said that all presidential searches in the University System of Maryland are closed searches.

Although Frostburg State University is a public university, the search firm members mentioned that closed searches are becoming more popular due to their tendency to attract better candidates.

What a closed process is, is something that a lot of universities are shifting to, predominately in public higher ed as well,” said Pam Pezzoli, another member of the search firm. “The concern is that, certainly, they want to make sure the process is confidential, that anyone who may be a sitting president, or even if they’re not, that they feel comfortable engaging in the process without their entire campus knowing.

It can be less than ideal but there are benefits to it. The confidential candidates feel more comfortable, and it will really help you yield better candidates,” she said.

The partners said that, because the search is closed, campus input is sought at the beginning of the search, such as in this forum. “Interacting with stakeholders is key, and also key is having these open forums,” said Friel. “A college is, you know, a community, so we’re really interested in feedback across the community, as well.”

Explaining that the campus probably won’t hear anything further until a selection is made, Friel said, “My guess is there’s not going to be a lot of communication coming back to the campus [regarding the search progress].”

For more coverage of the presidential search process, click here.

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