4.2 Appointment of Presidents

Board Policies
Chapter 4 - Human Resources

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Part 1. Presidents
The president is the chief executive officer of the college or university. The president shall report to the chancellor and is responsible for leading the college and/or university faculty, staff, and students in developing and implementing the college or university mission, consistent with the board mission and goals. The president is the primary spokesperson for college or university interests and shall consult regularly with students, faculty, staff, and members of the community. The president shall advise the chancellor, the staff of the system office, and the Board of Trustees on matters of system policy as appropriate, and otherwise administer and support all Minnesota State Colleges and Universities policies and programs. The president shall also lead in generating and sustaining the college/university vision as an integral part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. The duties and responsibilities of the president include, but are not limited to, adhering to board policies and system procedures, employing personnel, providing innovative educational leadership, allocating campus resources, and implementing the board’s strategic plan.

Part 2. Presidential Appointments
Presidents are appointed by the board upon the recommendation of the chancellor. The chancellor shall use one of the following options in recommending a presidential appointment to the board.

Subpart A. Acting President
Upon advance notification to the board chair, the chancellor may appoint an acting president for the period of an incumbent president’s approved leave of absence.

Subpart B. Interim President
An interim president may be appointed, upon the recommendation of the chancellor and approval by the board, to temporarily fill a vacant presidency for a term of up to one year with the option to extend the appointment for additional periods.

Subpart C. President
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is committed to hiring extraordinary leaders who meet the needs of colleges, universities, and their communities through a selection process that is broadly consultative and transparent. The board chair and chair of the board’s human resources committee oversee the presidential selection process. The chancellor will provide regular updates to the chairs throughout the process. The chancellor shall use one of the following options in recommending a presidential appointment to the board.

  1. Search. When there is a presidential vacancy, it is the board’s expectation that a search will be conducted. An acting or interim president may be considered as a candidate in a search process for the presidency at of the searching college or university.
  2. Search Waiver. The board may waive the search process and appoint a candidate who best fits the needs of the college or university and the system. Consideration of a waiver is initiated by a written recommendation to the board by the chancellor. The board must determine the waiver is in the best interests of the system.

Part 3. Search Process

Subpart A. Initial consultation
At the start of each search, the chancellor shall solicit input from internal and external constituent groups at the affected college or university about the qualities sought in the new president.

Subpart B. Appointment of search advisory committee
The chancellor shall appoint a local presidential search advisory committee and name the chair of the committee. The committee will identify presidential candidates and make recommendations of candidates to the chancellor.

Subpart C. Application review and screening interviews
The search advisory committee shall have access to all application materials received. The committee shall select candidates to interview and conduct initial screening interviews. The committee shall forward to the chancellor the names of the candidates they believe should be considered to continue in the process, along with detailed assessments of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each candidate.

Subpart D. Identification of candidates to visit campuses
Following receipt of input from the committee, the chancellor shall consider the committee’s assessment, as well as any reports from confidential referencing and background checks. The chancellor shall select two to four candidates to visit the college or university and participate in public meetings. The chancellor shall communicate with the committee on the rationale for the chancellor’s selection from the committee’s recommendations.

Subpart E. Opportunity for constituent group meetings with candidates and constituent group feedback
Once the finalists are publicly identified, internal and external constituent groups at the affected college or university shall be invited to meet with the candidates on campus. All internal and external constituent groups shall be invited to give confidential feedback directly to the chancellor following the candidate visits to campus.

Subpart F. Trustee participation
At least two and up to three members of the Board of Trustees will participate in interviews for the purpose of providing counsel to the chancellor in the formation of the chancellor’s recommendation to the board.

Subpart G. Chancellor’s recommendation to the Board of Trustees
The chancellor shall present a recommendation with a detailed explanation to the board which includes what the internal and external constituent groups expressed about the qualities the new president needs and how the chancellor’s recommended candidate fits that description.

Subpart H. Communication throughout the search process
The chair of the search advisory committee is responsible for communication about the search. Throughout the search process, the chair shall provide regular updates to the committee and shall work with college or university staff to post updates on the search website, as appropriate, so that the broader community has the opportunity to follow the public process from start through completion. Following the conclusion of the search, the committee may meet to be debriefed on the search.

Subpart I. Notification to the board of unsuccessful search
The chancellor shall notify the board in writing that a search was unsuccessful when none of the interviewed candidates are acceptable.

Part 4. Search Advisory Committee

Subpart A. Charge. The search advisory committee is advisory to the chancellor as the chancellor develops a recommendation to the board. Committee members shall serve as stewards on behalf of the interests of the entire college or university community.

Subpart B. Composition
Committee members shall be knowledgeable of the duties and responsibilities of the position to be filled and broadly representative of the interests of the faculty, staff, students, administration, community, alumni, and friends of the college or university.

  1. Chair. The committee shall be chaired by a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities sitting or former president appointed by the chancellor.
  2. Members.
    1. The chancellor will invite nominations for members of the committee from all internal constituent groups and from external constituent groups in the community.
    2. The chancellor shall seek to balance the committee to the extent possible in areas such as gender and other diversity; geographic diversity (multiple campuses); liberal arts and technical programs; and student-facing and back office staff. To facilitate committee balance, each constituency nominating a committee member shall submit more nominations than slots attributed to the constituency.
    3. The committee shall be comprised as follows:
      1. two members of the teaching faculty at an affected college or university selected by the faculty organization;
      2. one member of the service faculty at an affected university nominated by the service faculty organization;
      3. one student (two students for multi-campus colleges or universities) nominated by the campus student association;
      4. one member from each additional affected college or university bargaining unit nominated by their bargaining unit;
      5. up to three members of the public with a connection to the affected college or university having knowledge of the affected college or university and its needs nominated by the public; and vi. two administrators who are employees at the affected college or university.

Subpart C. Committee support
The system office shall coordinate the overall search process and provide training to the committee. The chief human resources officer of the affected college or university will be the liaison between the affected college or university and the committee and will provide professional human resources support to the committee. The chancellor may engage a professional search consultant to assist in the recruitment of candidates.

Subpart D. Expense reimbursement allowed
Members of the committee shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in performing services for the committee, consistent with expense procedures for state employees.

Part 5. Salaries
In consultation with the board chair and the chair of the human resources committee, the chancellor shall determine salaries for the position of president within the parameters of the Personnel Plan for MnSCU Administrators as approved by the board and within board approved salary ranges. The chancellor is the designated appointing authority for all other personnel actions pursuant to Minnesota statutes.

Part 6. Terminations and Contract Expiration

Subpart A. Termination of employment
The chancellor, upon advance notification to the board chair, may terminate a president in accordance with the Personnel Plan for MnSCU Administrators and, if applicable, the president’s employment contract.

Subpart B. Contract expiration
A president’s employment ends upon expiration of the employment contract, unless otherwise provided in the employment contract. Expiration of a contract without extension or renewal does not constitute termination under this policy.

Related Documents:

  • Policy 4.1 Personnel Plan for MnSCU Administrators

Policy History:

Date of Adoption: 11/18/98
Date of Implementation: 11/18/98
Date of Last Review: 09/17/19

Date & Subject of Amendments:

09/17/19 – Amended Part 3, C, 1 to allow interim presidents to be considered a candidate in the search process, and Part 4, B, 2, c, iii to clarify the campus student association nominates the student representative on the committee. New writing and formatting styles were applied throughout the policy.


Additional HISTORY