Committee formed to find Hill’s successor

Josh Newell

While one retires, the rest of the community must carry on, and that’s exactly what Iowa State is doing in the case of the senior vice president for Student Affairs.

Starting in early November, a search committee will begin reviewing applications for candidates looking to succeed Tom Hill as the senior vice president for Student Affairs.

The search committee co-chairmen are Michael Crum, vice president for Economic Development and Industry Relations, and David Harris, senior associate athletic director.

The university is working with search firm Spelman and Johnson to find potential candidates. Spelman and Johnson have assisted Iowa State in multiple searches over the last three years.

“Because of the strong work they’ve done in the past, we feel comfortable moving forward with them,” Harris said.

According to Mark Hall, senior associate at Spelman and Johnson in Massachusetts, the firm expects to receive plenty of applications for the position.

“We understand the importance of the position to the institution,” Hall said. “I expect we’ll get 80 to 100 applications, but we’re less concerned about quantity than quality.”

With a soft deadline for applications to be submitted of Nov. 2, the search firm will begin reviewing the applications for the position and then forward a selection of the top candidates to the 15 member search committee at Iowa State.

“We’re trying to look for that dividing point between the highly qualified people and the rest of the candidates,” Hall said.

Based on previous searches, Hall expects that the pool that will be forwarded to the search committee will number somewhere between eight and fifteen candidates.

In addition to a candidate’s qualifications and work experience, the search committee is looking for someone who will seamlessly mesh with Iowa State’s campus and administration, Crum said.

“I think we’re going to attract a very strong pool of candidates for this [position], but I think it will come down to fit,” Crum said.

In order to test whether or not the candidates will connect with Iowa State, the search committee will conduct the first round of interviews sometime after Thanksgiving break. From there, Iowa State will fly out the top three to five candidates in late January for a whirlwind day of in-person interviews and an open forum where faculty and students can question the candidates themselves.

“It’s pretty intense for the candidates,” Crum said.

According to Crum, the candidates usually spend a day and a half in a series of group and one-on-one interviews with almost every major stakeholder at Iowa State, including an interview with President Leath, who is the person that they would report to if they got hired.

“We’d like for them to talk to everybody, but that’s not feasible,” Crum said.

Whoever the committee eventually decides to hire will have to manage a budget of over $236 million and oversee nearly 750 full-time staffers, as well as 80 graduate students and over 3,000 undergraduates.a

“We’re looking for someone who is a strong leader. We’re looking for someone who can come in and really continue to move the division forward,” Harris said.