The search for the new president of The University of Texas-Pan American was set in motion Monday, Dec. 1 when the Presidential Search Advisory Committee met for the first time to discuss the qualifications for the next UTPA successor and also create an advertisement to be placed in local, state and national publications.
"At this point we are looking for the very best person we can find. That person may be somebody from the Valley, it may be somebody from around the state," said Dr. Teresa A. Sullivan, executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and chair of search committees for the University of Texas System. "I think what is really important is that we have a nationwide search because we want to find the best possible candidate."
The 18-member committee led by Sullivan met at the University Library to begin the nine to 11 month process for the next president to replace Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez, who announced his retirement from the UTPA presidency in August after serving the institution for the past 32 years.
"The process starts with developing an ad that will be placed, and after we place that ad we will be asking for nominations," Sullivan said. "Anybody anywhere can give us a nomination."
Sullivan said this is not a closed nomination and is open to the public to nominate an individual or apply for the job once the ad is placed. The position is expected to be advertised in various publications including the Chronicle of Higher Education, Hispanic Outlook, Black Issues in Higher Education and several Internet sites including the Texas Job Market.
According to Sullivan, the nomination deadline is Feb. 1, but could be changed if the committee decides on a later date. Sullivan said she is expecting more than 100 applicants from across the nation to apply for the position.
The committee will be looking for an individual who is able to lead a large complex organization, interact well with members of the community and UTPA faculty, and has some understanding for the position of students and parents, Sullivan said.
"It's actually not an easy job and of course one thing all presidents have to do is get resources for their institution. So we will also be looking for someone who is comfortable raising money for this institution," she said.
Candidates will not be required to have a doctoral degree; however, a professional degree will suffice, Sullivan said.
Once the nominations or applications have been sent in, the committee will then review the nominations and seek more information on the nominees.
"We will eventually bring in a group of them (candidates) to interview and we will finally recommend to the (UT System Board of) Regents five to 10 names to be finalists and at that point the names will become public," Sullivan said. "We don't make the selection, but we are going to name candidates to the regents. The regents will make the final decision."
Sullivan said in the past the Board of Regents and Presidential Search Advisory Committees from other UT System components have worked with the names recommended by the search committees.
"The history has been to work with names that have come from the committee, but the regents have the freedom to do whatever they want to do," she said.
Currently three candidates have already been nominated, however no names will be released until the Board of Regents determines the list of finalists. Under the Texas State law, only the names of finalists can be made public only 21 days prior to the selection of the president.
"I won't even say if they (nominees) are from the state. I basically can¹t tell you anything about them because I don't want to invite speculation," she said.
The goal of the committee is to have the next UTPA president in place by September 2004.
Nominations or applications can be sent to Sullivan through the mail at the following address: Chair, UT Pan American President Search, 601 Colorado Street, Suite 305, Austin, Texas 78701-2982; or nominations can be sent confidentially via e-mail to the Committee at UTPA@utsystem.edu