Secret University Searches, and the Excuses Made for Them…

The Associated Press reporter Alan Zagier wrote a nice story looking at the tale of two very different searches at my university, one fairly open, one Vatican-like in its secrecy…and I lob an incendiary quote in for good measure!

“The law school search really demonstrates the power of this institution to attract high-caliber candidates in a very public search,” said Charles Davis, an associate professor of journalism and former executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition. “There are institutions all over the country that run public searches, and they work fine. None of them have dropped off and fallen into the ocean, last I checked.”

Some states, notably Florida, legally require public colleges and universities to disclose finalists’ names in chancellor and presidential searches. That’s not the case in Missouri, which leaves it up to schools and their governing boards.

At our shop, everyone else runs partially open searches, but the top job is top secret.

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