Search committee trims down list for potential president

Kelly Tyko

And then there were three – sort of.

The list of presidential candidates has been cut again. First there were 30 candidates, then seven, then six, and now three. But more are expected to apply.

At the search committee meeting on November 1, the committee expressed interest in FAU’s Business Dean Bruce Mallen and two outsiders: Thomas Hanley, Engineering Dean at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and Terry Hickey, the Academic Chief of the University of Akron in Ohio.

Eliminated was the other FAU hopeful, Larry Lemanski, Vice-President for Research and Grad Studies, along with Barry Klein, Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of California at Davis and Keith Miller, Provost and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh.

One of the seven semifinalists selected at a mid-October meeting, Peter Hoff, notified the board he was taking himself out of the running. Hoff, President of the University of Maine in Orono, indicated that publicity stemming from the announcement he was bidding on the FAU President’s job forced him to reconsider.

Board of Trustees’ Chairman John Temple and FAU’s hired headhunter, Jan Greenwood, have said some prospects have consulted them privately but not yet decided whether to apply.

With some hopefuls keeping their decision to apply for FAU’s presidency secret, some search committee members were concerned they wouldn’t have a chance to review their qualifications.

Either way, the committee will review the prospects, said Search Committee Chairman George Zoley, adding that final selection will be made by the full Board of Trustees.

“I know Bruce, and he is highly competent,” said Zoley, who’s also a Board Member. “I am a graduate of that school – and he is on my list.”

“I’d like to see Bruce interviewed,” said Board Member Armand Grossman.

Not all committee members were happy, though.

Member Herb Gimelstob felt the board was moving too fast and adhering too strictly to the December date to choose a successor to Anthony Catanese, who left July 1 to become President of the Florida Institute of Technology.

“We could go another six months,” Gimelstob noted.

George Platt didn’t see anyone that he was confident was presidential material. “Not too many of these people leap off the page,” the committee member said.

When it was time to pare down the list, members was told to pick their three favorite prospects.

But not everyone voted, Gimelstob didn’t vote. Committee Member Richard Schmidt voted only for Mallen, whom he called “a visionary” who “made a pile of dough” while in the private sector.