The search for Brandon University’s next president is on schedule, according to the search committee’s chair.
"We are encouraged by those who have expressed an interest and assure you that our process continues to progress on schedule," Laura McDougald-Williams, presidential search committee chair, said in an emailed statement to the Sun.
The university’s 19-member presidential search committee, made up of faculty, community members, the students’ union and labour union reps, are also bound by a confidentially agreement.
"We as a search committee are not in a position to comment on the number of candidates interested in the position of president and vice-chancellor," McDougald-Williams said.
However, the university’s student newspaper, The Quill, reported last week that current president and vice-chancellor Deborah Poff was willing to extend her duties until the new candidate is chosen. But Poff told the Sun it’s too soon in the process to speculate.
"If I’m asked, then I will consider it, but I’m really hopeful that everything is working out well and there will be no need for me to consider that," Poff said. "As far as I know, there are some very strong short-listed candidates ... I think the search is going really well.
"I think the search is on time and I think there’s good candidates."
As previously reported in the Sun, interviews for BU’s next president are slated to begin next month. Poff will step down from her post at the end of July after stating she wouldn’t seek a second mandate last year.
Through a series of meetings since the fall, the search committee drew up a profile of the ideal candidate to take over as the head of the city’s university. The profile, which is posted on BU’s website, has also caught the attention of the Brandon University Apostles Alumni Group.
The group’s chair, Michael Czuboka, said they believe the university’s presidential candidate profile places too much emphasis on aboriginal education and not enough on the prestigious programs BU offers such as the School of Music.
"We’re concerned about the direction of Brandon University," said Czuboka, who graduated from BU in 1957. "I’m not aware of a single president that’s been chosen from the staff of Brandon University and I’m wondering why. "The person that’s picked should be the most qualified person ... for this particular job."
McDougald-Williams previously told the Sun they are looking for someone who is a "strong visionary leader, but someone — personality-wise — who can be approachable ... someone that is going to work hard for Brandon University’s best interest and build united vision of where the university is going to go."