Dr. Edythe M. Abdullah, Dr. Terry M. Bowen, Mr. Luther W. Coggin, Mrs. Toni Crawford, Mr. T. O'Neal Douglas, Mr. Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, Mrs. Ann Hicks, Mr. Steven T. Halverson, Ms. Wanyonyi J. Kendrick, Dr. R. Bruce Taylor, Chair Carol C. Thompson and Mr. Gerald E. Watterson.
Ms. Karen Stone and Ms. Lina Monell
The meeting was called to order at 2:10 p.m. by Trustee Carol Thompson.
Chair Thompson advised the trustees that they were meeting to deliberate on the candidates for president of UNF and added that it is a significant decision, one of the most important decisions that UNF Board of Trustees has to make. She reiterated that the Presidential Search Committee had recommended two candidates for the position of President of UNF. As chair she has been authorized to offer the position to a candidate once the Board selected one of the two candidates. Chair Thompson then gave an overview of the process that culminated with the interviews of the final two candidates. The Board initially appointed a transition committee soon after Dr. Ann Hopkins resigned and hired a search firm to assist in identifying candidates for the position. A Presidential Search Committee was subsequently appointed and consisted of representatives from the various constituent groups such as, trustees, a faculty representative, a vice president representing the staff, a dean, a student representative, a community person, and the president of the UNF Foundation. The committee was diversified and lead by Trustee Douglas. Chair Thompson indicated that from an original listing of 22 candidates, three surfaced as the final candidates. One candidate, who was hired by another system, later withdrew which left the university with two finalists. Each candidate was interviewed by the search committee, the trustees, faculty, staff, community representatives and alumni. Evaluations for the candidates were collected and forwarded to the Board. Chair Thompson indicated that the two candidates that are finalists bring different qualities and qualifications to this job. She told the Board that their challenge is to select the best candidate at this time for UNF. The two candidates are Mayor John Delaney and Dr. Gary Krahenbul. Chair Thompson stated that those are the two candidates that the trustees would discuss. She stated that some individuals have had more time with the candidates than others and then opened the floor for trustees and others to share their thoughts, concerns, and questions.
Chair Thompson stated that the trustees have received input from different sources and stated that there were two individuals who requested an opportunity to make comments, Dr. Judy Solano, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, and Ms. Aileen Miller. She informed them that they have three minutes for comments. Dr. Judy Solano voiced her concern that while Mr. Delaney has been successful as a mayor, he did not have the academic credentials and experience necessary to guide and assist the Board in running the university. She indicated that she and a number of faculty on campus believe that Dr. Gary Krahenbuhl would bring a higher level of experience to the university setting and urged the Board to select Dr. Krahenbuhl as President. Ms. Miller indicated that she attended the interviews with the final six candidates, and she stated that while Mr. Delaney was a talented person, Dr. Krahenbuhl received her strong support. Chair Thompson thanked Dr. Solano and Ms. Miller for their comments and stated that the trustees appreciate the comments that each has made and the support of the faculty, students, etc.
Trustee Kevin Twomey stated that the Presidential Search Committee did a spectacular job and that the process was open and fair. He informed the trustees that he was voting for John Delaney because he is a known entity and has shown successful leadership through the Better Jacksonville Plan. He will also be able to secure additional funding for the university. Chair Thompson asked if there were any other comments. Trustees Taylor, Watterson, Kendrick, Halverson, Twomey, Hicks, Abdullah, and Douglas made a number of comments with respect to the fairness of the search process, the strengths of both candidates and what each could bring to the university, and ultimately supported the person they believed should be the next leader of the University of North Florida. Chair Thompson then asked for a motion. Trustee Douglas moved that the nomination of John Delaney be placed on the floor for voting. It was seconded by Trustee Gonzalez. Chair Thompson then called for a vote. The vote in favor of Mr. Delaney was eleven for and two opposed. The Board then unanimously voted to offer the position to Mr. Delaney. Chair Thompson thanked everyone who participated in the process. She mentioned that members changed vacation days, meetings, etc. to commit to this meeting. She also stated that the Board had previously authorized her to offer this position to the candidate. She thanked Dr. David Kline, Interim President, and stated that he has done an outstanding job during this process. He has expressed a willingness to assist the President in his transition. She informed the Board that she would like to let the candidates know before the press announces it. The decision would be to have a new president on board by July 1, if not by August.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:25p.m.
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