Regents begin search for new executive director

Maggie Curry

An advertisement for the next executive director was approved in Monday’s Regent meeting. The search is being handled by the Governance and Evaluation Committee, chaired by Patty Cownie, vice chaired by Sherry Bates and filled out by Nancy Boettger.

Keith Saunders is interim director until the position is filled. Saunders also serves as an Associate Counsel to the Board of Regents, according to the Regent website. 

The former director was Robert Donley, who served as executive director (or chief executive officer) of the Board of Regents since 2008. Donley announced his resignation in June, effective July 15, 2017. 

According to the advertisement, the Executive Director:

  • acts under the general direction of the nine-member Board of Regents and is responsible for the development and execution of the Board’s strategic plan
  • works closely with the institutional heads to keep the Board informed of institutional operations and concerns
  • provides leadership in all budget analysis and recommendations to the Board
  • supervises all legislative activities and coordinates the approval of academic programs
  • directly oversees a Board Office staff of 17 professionals.

In addition, the Executive Director is responsible for administering a wide range of business, human resource, and program activities, and is responsible for representing the Board as appropriate with state and federal legislative bodies, other organizations and the general public, according to the advertisement.

“It is important that the successful candidate be a visionary who can develop and nurture close working relationships with the legislative and executive branches of the state government in addition to the Board of Regents,” the advertisement reads. Recent budget cuts from the state make this a necessity for the next director.

The current salary range for the position is $100,840 to $154,300. The position was capped at $154,300 in 2008.

The Board is also asking applicants have an appropriate graduate degree and a minimum of five (5) years senior level experience in a leadership position with a similar agency or institution of higher education. On top of that, the candidate must be a hands-on manager with outstanding leadership, decision making, budgetary and communication skills, both oral and written, according to the advertisement.

Applications must be received by August 7. Candidates are likely to be presented in September, with the goal of the new Executive Director assuming the position in November.