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Chancellor Search

George R. Hamilton
George R. Hamilton - Chairman, Chancellor’s Search Committee

January 30, 2017

Dear NCCU Community and Friends,

The North Carolina Central University Chancellor Search Committee has started the work needed to identify and select a new leader for the institution.

On January 17, 2017, the Chancellor Search Committee convened in the W.G. Pearson Dining Hall.  I welcomed the Committee Members and thanked them for agreeing to serve as we begin to vet and select candidates for the role of the 12th chancellor for North Carolina Central University.

University of North Carolina President Margaret Spellings was in attendance. She also thanked the committee members for serving and introduced each of them personally. President Spellings reiterated that the search for a new chancellor is the most important service you can render to the university.  It is critical that the committee members find the right person for this time in the history of NCCU. The university is in a great place and in good standing.

The characteristics President Spellings will look for in the next chancellor of North Carolina Central University are:

  • A leader with unquestioned integrity;
  • A leader who will build on the legacy of the 11th chancellor of NCCU, the late Dr. Debra Saunders-White, who is missed and adored by the university and throughout the higher education community;
  • An individual who understands how to balance the institution’s history with the need for progress now and in the future;
  • An individual who realizes that NCCU has more upside potential than any other campus in the UNC System and is driven to take the university to the next level;
  • A leader with experience who knows first-hand how to manage and lead a highly complex organization, while understanding the importance of shared leadership and governance, transparency and inclusion with a collaborative style;
  • An individual with tremendous people skills, who can effectively communicate with students, faculty staff, alumni, parents, Board of Trustees, Board of Governors, donors and the community;
  • A leader who will be a collegial partner with the system president and with other institutions in the UNC system;
  • An individual who understands the vital role NCCU plays in the Research Triangle region’s economy;
  • A leader who may or may not be an academic; and
  • An individual who values all staff and faculty.

The committee must be guided by all appropriate provisions of the law and The Code of The University of North Carolina and follow assiduously the requirements of the North Carolina Open Meetings Law, the provisions of The Code, as well as the relevant Board of Governors’ delegations to the Board of Trustees.

The committee, the campus community, the search consultant and I must accept responsibility for finding the most highly qualified individuals as chancellor candidates.  Once these persons are identified, it will be the duty of the search consultant, in cooperation with the support staff of the search committee, to bring these individuals into the pool for consideration by the committee. We are working closely with the Atlanta office of DiversifiedSearch on this process.

The committee will be responsible for recommending three finalists, unranked, to the NCCU Board of Trustees.  These candidates are individuals who the committee believes can serve with distinction as chancellor of NCCU based on the characteristics noted above.  After review and consideration, the NCCU Board of Trustees will then recommend the unranked slate of three candidates for consideration.

Further, President Spellings stated the committee’s work does not end with the selection of a new chancellor.  Upon conclusion of the search and appointment of a chancellor, the members of the search committee will serve as emissaries to each of NCCU’s major constituencies as champions for the new chancellor.

The goal is to have the selected candidate in place no later than August 1, 2017.

Following her remarks, President Spellings introduced Ms. Laurie Charest, UNC General Administration Representative, who covered the search process protocol. Highlights of her presentation included:

  • Authorization for Chancellor Selection and Appointment
  • Open Meetings/Public Records
  • UNC General Administration Support
  • Search Firm
  • Timetable
  • Questions

Next, Ms. Glenda Farrell, UNC General Administration associate vice president for employment and university equal opportunities, made a presentation entitled EEO Role and Process.  Highlights of her presentation are as follows:

  • The Search Committee’s Role - Key Responsibilities:
  • Job Posting: EEO Requirements
  • Evaluating the Candidate Pool
  • Post-Interview: Identifying Top Candidates
  • Checking References
  • Maintaining Complete Records
  • Final Considerations

I then recognized Attorney Hope Murphy Tyehimba, NCCU General Counsel.  Her presentation was entitled Open vs Closed/Confidential Search.  Highlights of her presentation included:

  • North Carolina Personnel Records Act
  • Definitions – Open Search and Closed Search

The Search Committee voted to keep the entire search process closed.

Diversified Search, the executive search firm that is assisting with the NCCU Chancellor Search Committee, will:

  • Recruit candidates;
  • Screen candidates;
  • Coordinate interview logistics;
  • Process candidate expenses;
  • Conduct initial reference checks; and
  • Conduct background checks, etc.

As one of the country’s top 10 executive search firms, Diversified Search has global search capabilities and is the largest women-owned search firm. They have a track record of identifying, assessing and recruiting leaders to the education sector with extensive experience conducting successful searches for senior leaders in education, including chancellors, provosts, academic and administrative deans and other units. Diversified Search is well known in the UNC System. Educational institutions they have served include North Carolina A & T University, Winston-Salem State University and the University of North Carolina – Charlotte.

The managing partners are Ms. J. Veronica Biggins, managing partner, and Ms. Euris Belle, managing director.

On Tuesday, January 24, 2017, the NCCU Chancellor Search Committee held four forums for public input into the selection of a new chancellor at NCCU.  Forum participants were asked to share candidate recommendations, preferred characteristics and other ideas.

This search website, www.nccu.edu/administration/chancellor-search.cfm, includes:

  • Announcements
  • Search Committee Members
  • Agenda and Minutes
  • Survey

If you wish to provide thoughts, reflections or suggestions about potential candidates to the search committee please feel free to do so by sending an e-mail to NCCUChancellor@divsearch.com

We will continue to keep you apprised as we make progress in this very important work.


George R. Hamilton
Chairman, Chancellor’s Search Committee

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