Members of the board of trustees met Wednesday in a telephoned conference call to discuss how the Feb 1. meetings with each presidential finalist would be performed. Trustee R. B. Holmes, Jr., co-chair for the board, presided over what turned out to be a tense discussion about how final proceeding in voting would be conducted. “I propose that the candidates be held in a holding room, so that they aren’t able to hear the answers that the other candidates are giving,” said Chair Challis Lowe.” Disagreement arose on about whether questions to the candidates should be made public to any of the finalists, trustees or the public before the proceeding. Trustee Mary Diallo took the side of those who wanted the questions to be open to members of the board. She emphasized that presenting the questions to the candidates before the proceeding would offer an “equal playing ground.” However, other members disagreed. “I think it would be an atrocity for any of this information to be leaked in any way,” said Trustee Leerie Jenkins. A representative from the Hollins Group search firm gave an explanation why it would be beneficial to keep all questions private. “The board could submit questions to the candidates; the only issue would be the lost of spontaneity.” There was also debate on whether an official vote would be decided on Feb. 1 or later. Diallo recommended a motion that the full board’s selection of the new president be voted upon on Feb. 1 only if all board members were provided with all “necessary and pertinent information” about the candidates in order to make a decision. The board did come to a agreement on the issue, siding that that motion would be granted. For now, the decision is planned to be made on or before March 8. Kimberlee Borland, liaison to the board, is current working on a schedule that will be presented to the public outlining campus visits that will take place on Jan. 26-29 at each candidates’ respective university.
For more information and updates on the meeting, pick up a copy of Friday’s issue of the Famuan, or stay informed online for updates.