Members of Presidential Search Committee named

Western’s Presidential Search Committee, tasked with finding a successor to President Amit Chakma, was named this week, consisting of 10 members – five elected by the Board of Governors and five elected by Senate.

Members elected by the Board include Board chair Paul Jenkins; Sylvia Chrominska; Keith Gibbons; Carol Stephenson; and Richard Konrad.

Members elected by the Senate include Audra Bowlus, Faculty of Social Science; Jayne Garland, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences; Louise Koza, Human Resources; Erik Mandawe, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry student; and Michael Milde, Dean, Faculty of Arts & Humanities.

Now that the search committee has been named, the next step is scheduling an initial meeting and electing a chair, Kathleen Kwan, University Secretary, explained. The committee will then move towards discussions on how to navigate the community consultation process and how it wants to engage with internal and external stakeholders for input.

“The committee will also be selecting an external consultant, as is the standard practice for senior searches,” Kwan added.

Leadership is cognisant of a nine-month “clock (that) starts ticking after the committee is named,” Kwan explained. Board rules do permit an extension in the selection process, if needed, provided the search committee is making good progress.

“Nine months is a good amount of time,” Kwan said, adding that community members will have a chance to interact with the committee and offer input during the presidential search.

“I will be putting out a memo, approved by committee, to alert community they can provide input on what kind of president should we be going for – that is the idea. The committee first needs to consider what questions they want on the feedback form, and I will put those out to the community,” she continued.

Some constituencies will be invited to meet with committee, while others can provide written input. The committee will determine who is best to meet with, Kwan explained.

“The committee will see all the input submissions that come in and will spend time meeting with people. Then they will form a position profile and that’s what goes out when they start advertising and looking for a candidate,” she continued.

“Based on all of that, the committee will make a candidate recommendation to the Board of Governors and the Board takes that on and makes a decision from there.”