Presidential Search Advisory Committee members will meet with potential finalists at an undisclosed neutral site this weekend. The committee will announce at least two finalists during the first week of the spring classes.
“We don’t know for sure, at this point, how many finalists we will have. It depends on how the interviews go,” said Don Crisp, chair of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee. “We will only have finalists we think have a chance at being the next president of the university.”
After the Oct. 30 applicatio deadline, the committee sifted through the prospects using a screening system recommended by Academic Search Inc., the firm hired by the university to assist throughout the process. Crisp said committee members “followed up” on every reference received for a potential finalist.
“[Academic Search, Inc.] do this so much that they’ve just developed what they think is the best practical approach,” Crisp said.
The committee may adhere to established protocol generally, but Crisp said the committee’s heavy emphasis on prayer makes ACU’s process unique. The committee prays together every time they meet.
“As committee members we have been constantly engaged in prayer, and in the updates we’ve asked the university to join us in that,” Crisp said. “We made that a big part of the process.”
A recent report by local media pointed to the steadily growing number of ACU students who do not associate themselves with the Churches of Christ.
The search prospectus, compiled by Dr. Bill J. Franklin, senior consultant at Academic Search Inc., acknowledges the “slow but steady” decline, stating, “the next president must be prepared to engage the Board of Trustees and the university in exploring the implications of these changes …”
Committee members are aware of the trend, but there is no sense of alarm.
“The trend has been there; I don’t think it will change who we select as prospective candidates,” Crisp said. “We’ve not really spent any time on that specific topic.”