8 finalists for permanent CFO at FAMU

University officials vote to select a candidate to move forward in the selection process.
Photo Submitted by Ruelle Fludd

The search for Florida A&M University’s Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Finance and Administration is one step closer to completion.
In a meeting Wednesday afternoon, members of the search committee determined which candidates were best fit for the interview process.

Forty-three candidates were reviewed by the group of nine members. In a week’s time, everyone in attendance was expected to come back after last Tuesday with their top 10 picks.

Led by Provost Maurice Edington, the cut down process was recorded by tally in an effort to reach consensus. Officials raised their hand when one of their top 10 was called to determine who made it to the first round of interviews.

Forty-three calls later, eight candidates were left with votes from the majority. Edington then opened up for a discussion of potential additions.
He said, “Is there anyone who should be in that list who’s not there?” The group continued by looking over the resumes of four different prospective candidates.

In attendance at the meeting were Faye Watkins, Dean of Libraries. Watkins offered a rebuttal to an official who proposed adding a candidate without higher education experience.
“There are a lot of people that you could feel good about in terms of their financial management experience — but if they didn’t have the higher education side — for me that — I looked at our sheet and we have that on there,” Watkins said.

This set the tone for the remaining candidates the group revisited.

Edington added, “We don’t have the time especially with training someone about higher ed in general and then a university as complex as ours, with all the different financial pieces. It’d be six months before they grab a hold of the reigns. And I think we need a smooth transition.”

The final agenda item before the public discussion was the matter of interview time slots and interview questions. Another raise of hands showed each official’s availability during the week of October 7 to conduct teleconference interviews via Skype. Potential interview questions were formulated and distributed by Joyce Ingram, Chief Operating Officer/Chief HR and Diversity Officer of Finance and Administration.

Ingram discussed the do’s and don’ts of the interview process, tips to ensure a fair and compliant search and legal non-discriminatory questions to ask. On the questions Ingram formed for interviews she added, “I developed questions around —enabling us to father more information around these competencies. Focusing on leadership as well as the technical skills as well as demonstrating performance as far as financial and business processes.”
Officials are supposed to review the draft of questions and return feedback to Ingram for her to finalize. The limited availability of interview slots, based on each official’s schedule, sets each Skype interview at 45 minutes but may be cut down to 30.

A last call for final comments and concerns by Edington was met with silence. With eight candidate selected and interview times set for next week, the meeting concluded.