Committee begins search for new CFO

Provost Maurice Edington, right, leads Tuesday’s search committee meeting.
Photo Submitted by Andy Jean-Baptiste

The search committee for the permanent Vice President of Finance and Administration/Chief Financial Officer held its second meeting on Tuesday.

Provost Maurice Edington, chairman of the committee, led the meeting. Members are charged with finding a replacement for Wanda Ford, who resigned abruptly in June.

The committee is comprised of nine members from various positions within the university.

The university advertised the position from July 11 to Aug. 10. Within that period there were 43 attempts made to apply, and 42 applications were received.

The meeting agenda included a recap of the previous meeting, Human Resources guidelines, Sunshine Law and public records, equity in the search process, a review of the evaluation instrument, access to the applications, and a review of the expected timeline.

Present to speak about the Attorney Shira Thomas, acting general counsel for FAMU, addressed the state’s Sunshine laws and public records. Thomas explained that all committee meetings are to be open to the public, and must be advertised to the public in a timely manner.

Thomas referenced Article 1 Section 24 of the Florida Constitution for proof of this information.

Personal notes of each committee member should remain confidential and should not be shared with others on the committee, she said.

Carrie Gavin, Title IX officer and director of the Equal Opportunity Programs (EOP), spoke on equity in the search process.

Givens advised the committee to not discuss protected class issues. They include race, sex, religion, gender, disabilities and more.

Formatting for interviews of selected applicants must be identical to be equal and fair to each candidate.

“Be careful about the information you secure through private investigations,” Gavin said.

The committee will have to talk to the general counsel about adverse information about the applications. Committee members are not allowed to speak to other committee members.

Joyce Ingram, associate vice-president and chief Human Resources and Diversity officer, addressed Human Resources guidelines. She spoke about interview questions do’s and don’ts.

“There is a lot that you can’t do, but there’s a lot you can do,” she said.

Each committee member received a draft copy of a criteria checklist for the applicants to be checked on by the committee members individually as they go through the applications.

The checklists from each committee member will not be collected.

The committee plans on narrowing down the 42 applicants to 10 with the criteria checklist.

The committee members will discuss their individual picking of 10 applicants, and the committee as a whole will reach the decision of which 10 are most qualified for the position.

Recommendations for this advertised position are expected to be turned into President Larry Robinson on Oct. 29.

Edington said, “My experience helps that I understand the components and processes to guide the work of the committee in an effective and efficient manner.”