Ongoing search for VP for finance narrows

The College administration has continued making progress in its search for a vice president for finance following the Board of Trustees’ approval of the position in October (“Board of Trustees approves new VP for finance position,” Oct. 28, 2010). The search committee for the position hopes to begin interviewing a pool of semifinalists in the next few weeks.
The position is part of President Falk’s senior administration realignment plan, which was created after the critical examination of several key College roles, such as  dean of the College, vice president for operations and provost.
The purpose of the new vice president for finance position will primarily be to work with the provost, a position filled by a faculty member on a three-year rotational basis.
While the provost will continue to oversee the budget and allocation of College funds, the vice president for finance will focus primarily on the more technical financial details.
“We are close to the stage of interviewing semifinalists,”said Jim Kolesar, assistant to the president for Public Affairs and chair of the search committee. He also mentioned that the pool has  been narrowed to eight remaining candidates so far, with interviews  likely to take place over the next few weeks.
Following interviews, the committee will continue to narrow the candidate pool in order to meet the July 1 deadline set by Falk when he initially laid out his plan for the administration’s realignment.
“Sometime after [the interviews are completed] we’ll bring finalists to campus, probably three, give or take one,” Kolesar said. “The hope and plan is still to have someone who can start on July 1.”
The committee will look to bring finalists to campus within the next month, when the remaining two to four candidates will meet with a number of individuals across campus.
“When they’re here, they’re going to be meeting with lots of people, including some students,” Kolesar said. “The outgoing and incoming College Council co-presidents are one group they’ll be meeting with, and they’ll be meeting with lots of other faculty and staff as well.
“As usual, when [the College] brings someone to campus for an interview, they really make them jump through the hoops. So each person will have a very full day and a half when they’ll talk to a lot of people,” he continued.
The search committee is made up of seven faculty members and administrators. Aside from Kolesar, members include Collette Chilton, chief investment officer, Cathy Johnson, chair of the committee on priorities and resources and professor of political science, Provost and Treasurer Bill Lenhart, Associate Director of Gift Planning Margaret McComish, Lee Park, professor of chemistry and Chris Pye, professor of English.
The committee members are working in conjunction with search firm Diversified Search Odgers Berndtson, a firm with a well-established reputation at the College, according to Kolesar.  “They’ve worked with the College before, so they know Williams well,” he said.
“It seems like a very strong pool,” Kolesar said. “I’m quite confident we’re going to have someone very qualified for this position who will also fit Williams well.”

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