Faculty Elect Committee to Provide Input on Presidential Search

Faculty Consultative Committee to include 16 faculty members, including non-tenure track and specialized faculty.

Faculty Consultative Committee
Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell addresses the Faculty Assembly on Friday at Jack Morton Auditorium. (Logan Werlinger/GW Today)
September 12, 2016

The Faculty Assembly on Friday elected nine members to the Faculty Consultative Committee, which will provide input to the Board of Trustees as it selects the university’s 17th president.

“This is an important group for the board to have—one that's directly elected by all of the faculty, and one that will provide counsel and advice as we go along through the process,” Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell, B.S. ’85, said.

Mr. Carbonell added that he wants to meet as soon as possible with the Faculty Consultative Committee and said that its counsel will help the board shape the statement of desired presidential qualifications. The statement, which the board will need to approve, will be used by the Presidential Search Committee to identify a diverse pool of candidates. The board also will consult with the committee as well as the Faculty Senate Executive Committee on the selection of the president, he said.

“I do expect that the Faculty Consultative Committee will be a very, very important vehicle because it represents elected representatives from the faculty,” Faculty Senate Executive Committee Chair Charles Garris said.

In addition to electing nine members, the assembly also delegated to the Faculty Senate the responsibility of adding seven additional faculty members to the committee. In electing those members, the Faculty Senate is charged with ensuring that the committee as a whole represents the diverse interests of the faculty. Although the Faculty Senate Executive Committee originally proposed that the Faculty Senate have the option of appointing additional members, faculty approved an amendment to require the appointment of seven additional members. This amendment followed expressions of concern that the nine members did not include faculty from the College of Professional Studies.

During the meeting, some faculty members also expressed concern about the faculty diversity on the Presidential Search Committee and said that they believe faculty, including the Faculty Consultative Committee, should play an enhanced role in identifying and reviewing candidates as well as selecting the next president. Mr. Carbonell said the Presidential Search Committee has a broad array of university stakeholders, including faculty members, and that he and the rest of the committee are committed to hearing from faculty to ensure that their views are taken into account during the search. In addition to working with the Faculty Consultative Committee, the board is hosting a number of meetings to solicit input into the search. It was also noted that this year’s presidential search committee has twice the number of faculty as the 2006 presidential search committee.

Mr. Carbonell also provided an update on the timeline for the presidential search. This week, the Board of Trustees is seeking input from students, faculty, staff and alumni through 11 town halls, which are taking place Monday through Wednesday. (Anyone can also provide feedback at any time on the presidential search website.) Representatives of the Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee also are attending faculty meetings for each GW school or college, as well as meeting with community members and elected officials.

Feedback will be used over the fall to create the desired profile of the next president, including attributes, experience and the opportunities and challenges the role will present. By winter, the committee anticipates interviewing candidates, and by spring, it will make its recommendations to the Board of Trustees, which is expected to select the president in the spring.

Mr. Carbonell also emphasized the importance of keeping the search process confidential to attract the best candidates possible, and said that while the Presidential Search Committee is responsible for presenting candidates to the Board of Trustees for consideration, the board is responsible for ultimately choosing the next president.

The committee members identified by their schools and elected by the Faculty Assembly on Friday are:

  • Dina Khoury (Columbian College of Arts and Sciences)
  • Nathan Brown (Elliott School of International Affairs)
  • Diana Burley (Graduate School of Education and Human Development)
  • Jennifer Griffin (School of Business)
  • George Gray (Milken Institute School of Public Health)
  • Roger Schechter (GW Law)
  • Can Korman (School of Engineering and Applied Science)
  • Vincent Chiappinelli (School of Medicine and Health Sciences)
  • Carol Lang (School of Nursing)

The seven additional Faculty Consultative Committee members will be identified this month when the Faculty Senate elects them.