More than 20 apply for DWU presidencySearch committee chairman says screening process well under way.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
Presidential search committee chairman Brad Pratt won’t disclose the number of applicants who are seeking the job of outgoing Dakota Wesleyan University President Bob Duffett, but he said the screening process is well under way.
The deadline to submit applications was Monday. “It’s a good, solid number,” he said.
Pressed further, Pratt acknowledged only that the number was more than 20 but less than 50.
Pratt, a 1979 DWU alumnus, spoke by telephone this week from his Mankato, Minn., office, where he works as a financial planner.
“I think we have some good candidates and the (six-person) search committee — as we work through things — seems to be pleased with the quality of the applicants we have so far.”
DWU’s website features a “Presidential Search” link that, among other details, lists required presidential qualities that include proven leadership ability, a spiritual focus, financial acumen, and honesty, integrity and a sense of humor.
The committee will handle initial screenings through telephone conference calls in the coming weeks, Pratt said.
“We’ll determine from there when we want to go to the next level, which would be face-to-face interviews,” he said. The in-person interviews could be done at various locations from locally to Sioux Falls or the Twin Cities, Pratt said, depending on committee and applicant convenience.
The search committee is part of the larger 30-person DWU Board of Trustees that will hold its regular spring meeting in Mitchell March 21-22. During that time, said Lori Essig, vice president for university relations, the trustees will approve the list of spring graduates and commencement awards and the university budget for coming year.
“It’s pretty standard business,” Essig said. “But I assume they will also spend time talking about the presidential transition.”
The biggest challenge facing a new president, Pratt said, will be to continue the period of growth that marked Duffett’s 13-year tenure with DWU. Duffett is leaving at the end of the school year for a presidency at Eastern University in Pennsylvania.
“A great team has been built there and we need to continue the process,” Pratt said.