Special committee narrows the search

Megan Angelo

The special committee appointed to name a successor to the University president, Father Edmund J. Dobbin, O.S.A., interviewed the candidates for their recommendation on Tuesday and Wednesday.Herb Aspbury, chair of the special committee and vice chairman of the Board of Trustees, said that the committee cannot release the number the list has been narrowed to, but that the committee is considering “a good representative number. We’re not talking about two candidates here.”The committee has brought in an outside search firm to gauge campus opinion. The company, which Aspbury declined to name, has been surveying students, faculty and administrators for their input. “They’ll provide advice and counsel, from what they have picked up from talking to other people, on the most important issues,” Aspbury said.Each of the candidates under consideration has a doctoral degree, which was the fundamental requirement named by the committee. Besides that shared characteristic, the candidates’ backgrounds vary. “Each of the candidates brings something different,” Aspbury said. “One might have more experience from a teaching perspective, another might have more from an administrative perspective, and someone else might have (these) intangibles as far as leadership qualities go.””Everyone is interested in coming up with a candidate [who] appeals to everyone,” Aspbury said. “We have every desire that it be a Catholic Augustinian priest. And after excellent leadership over the past 17 years with Father Dobbin, everyone’s concern is that the next president exhibits the same leadership and forward-thinking and creativity.”After their deliberations, the committee will tender their recommendation to the provincial of the Augustinian order of the eastern United States. The committee hopes and anticipates that the provincial will then pass their candidate along to the Board of Trustees as his official nomination. The Board will then vote on the candidate.Aspbury said the committee could potentially finish its work in time for the Board to vote at their December meeting, but that a spring semester completion date is more realistic. “This is a very deliberate, thoughtful process, and it’s not politicized – everyone has the exact same concerns.”