Policy 3E: Searches for Administrators and Guidelines for the Appointment of Chief Officers of the University

1. Policy Statement

Search committees are mandated when vacancies occur in the positions of president, vice president, chancellors, vice chancellors, and deans of schools, colleges and libraries.

a.  Vacancies for these positions shall be filled in accordance with this regent policy. Searches for the president and chancellors shall also be conducted in accordance with C.R.S. § 24–6–402(3.5).

b.  The board may authorize deviations from the processes defined in this policy.

c.  Qualified internal candidates shall be given an equal opportunity to compete with qualified external candidates.

d.  All searches must be conducted in a timely and professional manner that respects the rights of candidates to confidentiality, to the extent permitted by law.

2. Definitions

Appointing authority. The appointing authority is the individual or body who shall approve the appointment. For those employees reporting to the Board of Regents the "appointing authority" means the Board of Regents.

Supervising authority. The supervising authority is the individual or body to whom the employee directly reports. For those employees reporting to the Board of Regents, the "supervising authority" means the Board of Regents. In a presidential search the Board of Regents is both the appointing and supervising authority. In a chancellor or vice presidential search, the president is both the appointing and supervising authority.

Candidate. A person who applies for the position of president, vice president, chancellor, vice chancellor, or dean of schools, colleges, and libraries, or who consents to be considered for such position upon nomination by another and who is deemed qualified for the position, as determined by the search committee.

Finalist. A candidate who has agreed to be advanced for final consideration and potential appointment for the position of president or chancellor. A person who is named as a finalist shall be named in accordance with the requirements of Colo. Rev. Stat. 24-6-402(3.5) and records pertaining to that person shall be available for public inspection as allowed by Colo. Rev. Stat. 24-72-204(XI)(A-B).

3. Search Procedures

a. The Search Committee

The basic charge of a search committee is to generate a strong pool of candidates and advise the supervising authority of those candidates best qualified to meet the university's needs. These duties shall be accomplished in a professional and timely manner. The search committee should be constituted and the search process commenced as quickly as is reasonably possible after it becomes known that a vacancy will occur.  A search administrator and an affirmative action officer shall assist the search committee.

b. Membership

The composition and selection of the search committee is defined in subsection j. of this policy. A search committee member takes on a great responsibility not as a representative of a particular constituency but as a representative of all members of the university community.

Each member is expected to participate fully in committee activities and to vote.

c. Charge to the Committee

For each position for which a search has been authorized, the supervising authority shall issue a charge to the committee and establish the search budget.

The charge will outline in appropriate detail the requirements that the committee shall respect, namely:

1. the scope of the search (internal, state/regional, or national) and methods of soliciting nominations;
2. the requirements of affirmative action;
3. target dates for completing each stage of the search process and the schedule of reporting to the supervising authority;
4. the number of candidates to be recommended to the supervising authority;
5. the arrangements to be followed for campus visits if required;

6. the provisions by which the committee will handle communications regarding the search and the evaluation of candidates; and
7. information regarding the procedure to follow for committees making use of the services of a professional consultant or search firm.

d. Committee Process

Before commencing its search, the committee shall consult with the supervising authority to discuss and clarify the charge, desired academic or management credentials for candidates, and any other appropriate criteria for screening and selecting candidates. The supervising authority in consultation with the search committee will determine the most important qualities needed. In presidential and chancellor searches the committee must operate in accordance with the provisions of C.R.S. § 24–6–402, Open Meetings law.

The supervising authority will set the anticipated salary range at the outset of a search and inform candidates at the appropriate time. The committee shall not assume limitations on salary or other conditions that would qualify the considerations of candidates unless specified by the supervising authority. In extraordinary circumstances the supervising authority, in consultation with the appointing authority, may elect to offer a salary outside the specified range.

The search committee shall develop a search plan consistent with the charge to the committee.

e. Search Committee Chair

The supervising authority shall appoint the search committee chair. In the case of a presidential search, the committee chair shall be a regent. The primary responsibilities of the chair shall be to ensure that the best qualified candidates are considered and to:

1.  guide the committee in developing and implementing the search plan;

2.  oversee the professional and timely operation of the committee;

3.  guarantee an opportunity for all qualified candidates to receive committee consideration;

4.  work with an affirmative action officer to ensure that effective recruitment mechanisms are utilized and that the committee is provided information relevant to the recruitment of underrepresented groups;

5.  ensure that complete records of meetings and action are maintained;

6.  maintain the confidentiality of the committee proceedings, communications with candidates, and the identity of candidates, to the extent permitted by law;

7.  be the sole spokesperson regarding committee activities and the status of the search process;

8.  communicate with candidates and inform them of the status of the search process;

9.  ensure that financial expenditures generated by the committee are approved prior to their obligation;

10. report to the supervising authority the deliberations of the committee, divisions of opinion, and information it has compiled about recommended candidates. The chair should report immediately if any difficulties arise which threaten the committee's successful operation;

11. when deemed necessary, authorize the committee members to visit a candidate's place of employment if finances and candidate circumstances allow;

12. make arrangements for a meeting between the supervising authority and the search committee at the conclusion of the search process; and

13. compile the search committee final report summarizing the process and lessons learned for the benefit of future search committees for submission to the supervising authority.

f. Search Administrator

The system or campus administration must provide the committee adequate resources, assistance, and release time to carry out its responsibilities.

The supervising authority shall designate a search administrator with responsibility for providing staff support to the search committee. The designated search administrator shall:

1.  manage all logistics requirements;

2.  maintain procedures for preserving search committee records; and

3.  provide candidates with information relevant to the search and the university.

g. Professional Consultant Support

At the discretion of the supervising authority, a committee may use a professional consultant or search firm. A professional consultant or search firm shall not be used as a substitute for a required search committee.

The Procurement Service Center will maintain an approved list of pre–qualified professional consultants or firms.

h. Candidate Selection

The search committee emphasis shall be on attracting and selecting qualified candidates. The search committee will recommend to the supervising authority the candidates it determines are best qualified to fill the position.         

The supervising authority will determine which of the recommended candidates will be interviewed and in what order. The supervising authority shall also have the authority to interview a highly qualified candidate who has not been recommended by the search committee.

Requirements for president and chancellor searches are set forth in C.R.S. § 24–6–402 (3.5) and C.R.S. § 24–72–204(3)(a)(XI)(A).

i. Final Selection

The supervising authority will evaluate the candidates by means of personal interviews and by such other information as may be obtained. Before making a final selection, the supervising authority will meet with the search committee. In the case of searches for chancellors and vice presidents, the president will consult with the regents in the final selection process and the regents may be involved in interviewing candidates recommended by the president if they so desire. Before the president identifies any candidate as a finalist for the position of chancellor, the president shall notify the candidate of his or her intention and obtain the candidate’s permission to advance him or her as a finalist. Following the supervising authority's evaluation of the candidates, he/she will present the selection to the appointing authority. The supervising authority may also ask the search committee for additional candidates. The supervising authority shall be solely responsible for discussion with the candidates concerning conditions and perquisites of employment.

j. Composition of the Search Committee

In the selection of search committee members, the supervising authority shall normally select the committee member from nominations received but may appoint a committee member whether nominated or not. The supervising authority shall appoint the search committee chair. In the case of a presidential search, the committee chair will be a regent.

(1) President

The Board of Regents shall appoint the presidential search committee. The presidential search committee shall consist of one regent; one dean of a school, college, or library; four faculty, one representing each campus; one student; one staff; two alumni/ae; and four community members. In appointing the presidential search committee, the Board of Regents will strive to appoint a diverse committee that includes a variety of backgrounds, expertise and perspectives to represent the interests of the university and the state.

Notwithstanding the above, the board reserves the right to appoint regents as the search committee.

Presidential search committee membership is accomplished by regent resolution. The composition of the presidential search committee shall be as follows:

Regent – The board will elect a regent to serve as chair of the committee.

Dean of a school, college, or library – The board will request the chancellors and Council of Academic Deans to nominate one or more deans from each campus.
Faculty – The board will request that the faculty governance groups nominate more than two faculty members with distinguished records of achievement from each campus.
Student – The board will request that the student governance organizations nominate two or more students from the student governance organizations from each campus.
Staff – The board will request that the staff governance organizations nominate two or more staff from the staff governance organizations from system administration and each campus and that both classified and professional exempt staff be nominated.
Alumni/ae – The board will request that the alumni organizations nominate two or more alumni from the alumni organizations from each campus.
Community Members – The board will solicit nominations from the community.

In accordance with subsection b. of this policy, the Board of Regents shall provide a charge to the presidential search committee. That charge will include involving the Board of Regents at designated points in the search process. Those points will include, at a minimum: meeting with the Board of Regents to review the candidate pool at the point in the search where the committee has sufficiently narrowed the pool that it is having serious discussions regarding which candidates will be invited for initial interviews; and, referring a minimum of five unranked candidates to the Board of Regents for the Board of Regents to consider interviewing. Following those interviews, the determination of which candidates will be designated as the finalist(s) shall be made by the Board of Regents. Before the Board of Regents identifies any candidate as a finalist, the chair of the presidential search committee shall notify the candidate of the Board of Regents’ intention and obtain the candidate’s permission to advance him or her as a finalist. When narrowing the pool of candidates, the presidential search committee shall utilize a positive voting process similar to that described in Appendix A to this policy.

(2) Vice Presidents

a. For the all vice president positions, the president shall appoint the search committee.

b. Before appointing the search committee, the president shall solicit nominations from the faculty, staff and student governance groups, and each governance group shall promptly either nominate one or more members or inform the president that it declines to provide a nomination.

c. The president shall either choose a nominee from each governance group or, if none of the nominees is acceptable to the president, the president will request additional nominations.

d. The search committee may consist of members representing other constituencies affected and, if appropriate, outside persons having expertise in the field.

e.  For all vice presidential searches, the president shall appoint an officer of the administration to serve as the search committee chair.

(3) Chancellors

The president shall appoint the search committee. The chancellor search committee shall consist of at least four faculty (including one dean nominated by the campus deans' council); one student; one staff; and one alumnus/a, or Colorado resident. The president shall request that the faculty, staff, and student governance groups; and alumni organizations nominate from within their memberships. The president may also appoint additional members if deemed appropriate. The president shall appoint an officer of the administration who shall serve as the search committee chair.

(4) Vice Chancellors

a. The vice chancellor for academic affairs search committee shall consist of four faculty, one student, one staff, and one alumnus/a. The chancellor may increase the committee size if deemed appropriate. The chancellor will request nominations of eight or more faculty members, and two or more persons from each campus staff, student, and alumni governance organization.

b. For all other vice chancellor positions – The chancellor will select committee members representing constituencies affected and, if appropriate, outside persons having expertise in the field.

(5) Deans of Schools, Colleges, and Libraries

While there is no defined search committee membership, the supervising authority shall select informed internal representatives of the profession and/or discipline who are familiar with the objectives and requirements of the school, college, or library concerned. If appropriate, external representatives of the profession may be selected. The supervising authority shall receive nominations for faculty membership on the committee from appropriate representative faculty groups of the school or college.

Last revised: March 21, 2014


Revised: December 18, 1974; February 26, 1975; November 20, 1986; December 17, 1992; November 11, 1999; June 2, 2004; June 1, 2006; June 24, 2010; and March 21, 2014

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