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AD Search Committee Brings List Of 5-10 Candidates To Woodson; UPDATED 2:00pm

June 15, 2010

Per Chris Baysden and the TBJ:

The search committee assigned to help identify North Carolina State University’s next athletics director submitted several names for consideration to Chancellor Randy Woodson on Monday.

Committee Chairman Smedes York says that between five and 10 names have been submitted, but he wouldn’t say exactly how many or identify any names on the list. The move was an about-face from the committee’s previously stated intentions of supplying three names to the chancellor for consideration as a replacement for Lee Fowler, who will step down at the end of the month.

Earlier today on 620TheBuzz, Mark Thomas specifically gave the number of candidates as six in his report, though I’m not sure where he got that number from.

Interesting that the committee brought a larger-than-expected number to Woodson. I’m not quite sure what that means.

The optimist in me thinks that means the search firm identified SO MANY great candidates that whittling the list down to just three would be impossible. I think that’s entirely possible.

The pessimist in me thinks the committee didn’t quite know what to prioritize in their candidates, and felt like giving Woodson more choices rather than fewer would prevent accidentally tossing out a candidate that Woodson might prefer.

It’s probably true what committee chair Smedes York said: They wanted to give the chancellor more latitude in his decision making process. Given that they just met the man a few months ago, there’s still a great deal of getting-to-know-you time that needs to be traversed.

But I have to think that Woodson is a bit disappointed that they were given a direct mandate (to find the three best, beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt, candidates) and either ignored it or failed at it. Chancellor Randy seems like a VERY results-oriented guy, and when the committee failed to produce the results he looked for, I have to believe he lost just a little faith in their abilities to handle the task at hand.

Certainly he’s not upset. He’ll say the right things and mean them.

But just as when you ask your kids to clean their rooms and they only clean it half-way, or miss some obvious toys lying about, you praise them for their effort but realize they’re not capable to do the job up to your satisfaction just yet. It just means they left a little bit more work for you the parent, just as Woodson now needs to conduct twice as many interviews as he anticipated.

I’m perhaps reading too much in and looking for a reason to be concerned (I’m a lifelong State fan, after all). I’m certain all six (or so) candidates are highly qualified for the position and Woodson will find the man that best suits him and the university.

UPDATE: Chris has updated his story with some more quotes and a response from chancellor Woodson. Interestingly, big-time booster Richard Vaughn echoed a lot of the sentiments I posted earlier:


The decision to provide more than three names surprised Richard Vaughn, a prominent N.C. State booster who previously served on the selection committee that ended up recommending the hiring of Fowler. Vaughn says that Woodson now will have to do a lot more work to find the person he wants to hire.

“If I was the chancellor, it would kind of upset me to be given five names, let alone 10,” Vaughn says. “I’d feel like somebody hadn’t done their job.”


2 Comments leave one →
  1. RigbyP permalink
    June 16, 2010 9:13 am

    I’m not sure if I would read too much into the number of submitted names. Having served on search committees and having received names from a search committee, it is not unusual to deliver 6 names but have prioritized 3 names as above the rest. With how HR parameters are set, and the litigious nature of society, it is ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry. Submitting 6 names would better meet post-consideration requirements and still allow individuals to be prioritized. One last point…an interview team I was on once had to go to the 5th name on a list losing out on 1 candidate to another position and having 2 candidates opt not to leave their posts (family considerations). The fourth person over-negotiated and the 5th person was hired…and performed quite well.

    • June 16, 2010 9:19 am


      Those are all excellent points. I had not considered the post-consideration implications, and as you say, sometimes you can run out of hirable finalists. It would be somewhat embarrassing to eliminate a candidate from the finalists list, only to have to call them back when you strike out on all three of your selected finalists.

      In this instance, though, I would think the chances of running out of candidates from the finalists would be slim. There’s a candidate out there–Bobby Purcell–who has publicly lobbied for the position, so assuming he’s one of the finalists, there’s no chance he passes the position up or negotiates himself out of the job in asking too much.

      Still, great points and ones that I had not considered.

      Thanks for reading!

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