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VPAA search continues

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The VPAA spot remains open after the candidate James Payne and President Lesley Di Mare were unable to come to an agreement. Photo courtesy of morguefile.com.
The Vice President of Academic Affairs position was not filled by interviewed candidates, forcing the search committee to continue the search.

The VPAA is the chief academic officer responsible for providing leadership and overall strategic direction for the instructional and research programs of the university. The VPAA is also responsible for all aspects of the academic mission and collaborates with the university leadership to guide the institution in advancing its strategic plan, according to the job description released by CSU-Pueblo.

This summer a search committee consisting of Colorado State University-Pueblo faculty and staff was formed in
order to fill the position of VPAA. During the week of Sept. 17 through Sept. 21, three VPAA candidates visited CSU-Pueblo to participate in open interviews with faculty, staff and students.

Candidates PhD. Brenda Nichols, PhD. James Payne and PhD. Perry Retting each told forum attendees there philosophy and gave suggestion of what they would do if chosen for the position. Attendees then had the opportunity to give feedback to the search committee through online evaluation for the candidate after each interview.

Payne was chosen for the position, however, on Oct. 8, through the weekly messages from President Lesley Di Mare it was announced that the VPAA position would not be filled do to a misunderstanding, according to the email sent out by Jen Mullen, chief of staff.

Di Mare said in the e-mail, “Based on committee feedback, online evaluations, and my own analysis, I made the decision to offer the position to Dr. Jim Payne. Unfortunately, our negotiations weren’t successful regarding parameters of the position.

“I’ve asked Dr. Foust to continue as search chair and she has accepted. I’ve also asked the current committee members to remain on the search, as well,” she added. “I believe the breadth and depth of their experience on the search will be advantageous as we continue to find the best person for the position.”

Carol Foust, the head of the Provost Search Committee and the department Chairwoman for the Department of Exercise science, Health Promotions and Recreation said, “I was disappointed but respect the decision of President Di Mare.”

When asked what the misunderstanding between the University and Payne was about, during the negotiation process Foust said, “That is a personnel matter that Dr. Di Mare would not be able to share information about,” Foust added. “I don’t believe it was a misunderstanding. The candidate and the President were not able to negotiate a common agreement concerning the position.”

Candidates for the VPAA position are discovered through a search firm that uses advertisements, nominations and direct recruitment in order to find that best candidates, said Foust. The committee then reviews all applicants based on the job description and requirements, she added.

Foust was unsure if the previous candidates will be reconsidered for the VPAA positions but said the search will continue with recruiting additional candidates and reviewing the candidates to narrow the pool again.

Until the VPAA position is filled, Rick Kreminski, who has been the Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics since 2009 and has stood as Interim VPAA, has agreed to remain in the position, according to information found in the e-mail by Di Mare.