Mason Presidential Search Committee Work Under Way; Website Launched

Posted: August 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm

As a result of discussion at the May 4 Board of Visitors (BOV) meeting, a process for selecting a new president to succeed President Alan Merten when he steps down next year was established.

BOV Rector Ernst Volgenau announced at the meeting that the presidential search committee would be headed by BOV member Lovey Hammel, BS ’88.

The search committee has been formed and had its first meeting on June 9. The committee membership includes the BOV and other university and community representatives. The committee leadership and other members are as follows:

1.       Lovey L. Hammel, BS ’88, chair, Presidential Search Committee; member, BOV; president, Employment Enterprises

2.       C. Daniel Clemente, vice chair and member, BOV; CEO, Clemente Development

3.       Allyson Bowers, president, Student Government

4.       Joseph “Joey” Carls, BS ’06, chair, Staff Senate; administrative and fiscal operations manager, Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study

5.       Sidney O. Dewberry, rector emeritus, BOV; chairman, Dewberry

6.       James W. Hazel, JD ’84, chairman, Comprehensive Campaign Planning Committee; investor/owner, Angler Environmental

7.       Daniel Houser, professor and chair, Department of Economics

8.       Tim Meyers, BS ’83, chairman, George Mason University Foundation Board of Trustees; managing partner, Coriolis Management

9.       Donna Morea, president, U.S., Europe and Asia, CGI

10.   Linda Apple Monson, professor, College of Visual and Performing Arts; associate director for academic affairs, School of Music; director, keyboard studies

11.   George C. Newstrom, president and chief operating officer, Lee Technologies

12.   Tennille Smith Parker, BA ’97, president, George Mason University Alumni Association; assistant director, Disaster Recovery and Special Issues Division, Office of Community Planning and Development, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

13.   Peter Pober, faculty representative to the Board of Visitors; Faculty Senate chair; professor, Department of Communication

14.   June Tangney, professor, Department of Psychology

Ex Officio Members

1.       Ronald Forehand, senior assistant attorney general, Commonwealth of Virginia

2.       Linda Harber, associate vice president, Human Resources and Payroll

3.       Tom Hennessey, chief of staff

Staff Support

Mary Roper, secretary pro tem, BOV; administrative assistant to chief of staff

The committee selected Greenwood/Asher & Associates as the national search firm to help in the process.

The next phase of the committee’s work is about engagement, inside and outside the university, explains Hammel.

The search committee will hold public forums with numerous groups involving faculty, staff, students, alumni and community organizations to determine what traits and skills the next leader of the university should possess. The search firm will assist the committee during these engagements. A new Presidential Search website has been launched and will be used to solicit additional input. Additionally, it will have up-to-date information for the Mason community on the search process.

Hammel says that phases three and four of the search are about developing the leadership profile and identifying candidates. Some aspects of the search committee’s work involve a confidential, closed process. This encourages a wide range of highly talented candidates. It also protects the integrity of the process. However, Hammel says that the committee will do its best to provide regular updates on its progress through the Presidential Search website.

“The committee approaches the search work with a strong sense of responsibility,” Hammel says.  “Dr. Merten has built a vision of innovation and success into the fabric of George Mason University. It is extremely important that the search committee identify and recommend candidates for president who have the same commitment and talent to advance the university.”

Hammel adds that the BOV will make the final selection of a new president to lead Mason into the future.

As Mason gears up for the presidential search, the transition from one role to another for President Merten is beginning.

“Dr. Merten plans to stay at Mason,” says Tom Hennessey, chief of staff. “Dr. Merten is an asset of the university, and how best to use his talents and experience will be fully explored by the BOV and the new president,” states Hennessey.

Adds Hammel: “The role of the president is diverse and in large part an external role — establishing relationships, highlighting university initiatives and raising money, which are so important for a  dynamic university like Mason.”


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