The Penn State Faculty Senate heard Tuesday that the university could be ready to pick its next president in just one month.
Board of trustees Chairman Keith Masser said the board hopes to name someone to the position by its Nov. 22 meeting.
That timeframe means a decision will come roughly one year after the search for Penn State’s next president started in earnest, with the formation of a presidential search and screen committee in November 2012, Masser said.
President Rodney Erickson announced in March 2012 that he would retire no later than June 30, 2014.
Masser updated the Faculty Senate on Tuesday about the intensive search process that followed Erickson’s decision.
“I’m happy to report the search is moving on a positive trajectory and has attracted a large qualified pool of candidates,” Masser said.
He said the trustees’ presidential selection council is continuing to evaluate potential candidates, having received the top choices from the search and screen committee
But Masser said the trustees can’t provide the names of those candidates or the number they are seriously considering, citing the need for confidentiality.
“It has been shown over and over a confidential search process attracts the most qualified and desirable candidates,” he said. “It’s a protective measure for the candidates themselves who request it to protect their careers. It’s common practice among public universities.”
Masser acknowledged the difficulty in finding the balance between protecting potential candidates and being open with the community.
“We sincerely hope our representative and participatory process and our efforts to engage the community have provided a degree of transparency,” Masser said. “I assure you the information we have received ... has been measurable to the process.”