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December 18, 2018

WCU chancellor search group to hold public forums Feb. 5, 6, 12

 Members of the public will have several opportunities to share their opinions on the characteristics they would like to see in Western Carolina University’s next chancellor as the committee leading the search for a successor to Chancellor David O. Belcher has announced a series of open forums for February.

The 22-person search committee is seeking input from WCU’s various constituencies – faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members – to assist as it drafts a leadership statement describing the attributes and responsibilities of WCU’s new chancellor. The committee, in collaboration with consultant Jerry Baker of the Buffkin Baker executive search firm, is working toward a goal of having a new CEO for the university on the job by Aug. 1.

Western Carolina University’s chancellor since July 1, 2011, Belcher went on medical leave at the end of 2017 after battling brain cancer since April 2016.

Each open forum is designed for a specific constituent group, but all sessions are open to anyone who wants to attend.

The public forum schedule for Monday, Feb. 5:

  • Staff members – 1:30-3 p.m.; A.K. Hinds University Center theater.

  • Faculty members – 3:30-5 p.m.; conference center of Blue Ridge Hall.

  • Community members and alumni – 5-6:30 p.m.; Room 204 of the Health and Human Sciences Building.

The public forum schedule for Tuesday, Feb. 6:

  • Students – 12:15-1:15 p.m.; A.K. Hinds University Center theater.

  • Faculty members – 3:30-5 p.m.; A.K. Hinds University Center theater.

  • Staff members – 5:30-7 p.m.; conference center of Blue Ridge Hall.

In addition, a second forum for community members and alumni will be held in Cherokee from 5 until 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, in the Locust Room at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort.

Members of the public also will be able to share their thoughts about WCU’s next chancellor through a questionnaire that will be posted on the search committee’s website chancellorsearch.wcu.edu.

The committee – which is composed of members of the WCU Board of Trustees and faculty, student, staff, alumni and community representatives – received instructions Jan. 19 from University of North Carolina System President Margaret Spellings to bring forward three unranked candidates to present to the WCU Board of Trustees.

After evaluating the committee’s slate of candidates, the WCU trustees will recommend the unranked candidates to Spellings for consideration or will return the slate of candidates to the search committee for further action. Following her evaluation of the candidates, Spellings will then recommend one finalist to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors for approval.

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