We are close to completing the hiring process for the ED position. Here's an update on the process and our progress.
We put out a call for the position via our website, the listserv and Constant Contact. We listed the position at a few universities that have not for profit management programs, and we reached out to other ethnic arts/music/dance organizations. We offered preliminary 'informational' interviews with members of the hiring committee (Nancy, Dan and Corinna) to the 6 candidates who expressed interest, and based on mutual feedback narrowed the field to three candidates, who then provided cover letters and their resumes. The hiring committee conducted formal interviews with these candidates via conference call, and talked for 60-90 minutes with each candidate, asking them a similar set of questions, and debriefed after each call.
We then asked two people not on the board to conduct shorter, less formal interviews with these three candidates, following the same model - get on a conference call for 30 minutes with each candidate, asking consistent questions. The two people who are helping us are Jerry Kisslinger and Ethel Raim. We are holding the last of these informal interviews the week of September 9th. Jerry and Ethel will provide their feedback and perspective to the hiring committee but they do not have a voting role in the final hiring decision. The hiring committee will make a recommendation to the Board and the Board as a whole will make the final decision.
At lunch with the Board the idea of giving our community a chance to meet the final candidates was raised. Ideas like an open conference call, a face to face meeting, sharing cover letters/statements of purpose, or finding some other forum where our community could meet the candidates, were shared. What we took away from that discussion was that our community wants more involvement in the process, and we understand that - this is a new position, and a change from the way we have operated in the past, and our community wants to make sure that the Board is making a good and right decision.
As the Board thought through how to respond to the suggestions, we felt uncomfortable trying to meet that need by changing the hiring process on our candidates this late in the game, and asking them to make their candidacy public. As we shared at Lunch with the Board, all our short list candidates are a part of our extended community. We have reached out to their references as well as to others who have interacted with them to get feedback. We feel it would be awkward all round for them to know who else had applied, and it could put the two candidates who will not be our final first choice in a pretty awkward position to have it be broadly known that they were up for, but were not offered, the ED position. I know that universities usually ask their short list candidates to publicly present talks to departmental students and faculty, and do a meet and greet, as part of the on campus interview process. Practically speaking, we don't have the benefit of a physical campus that holds our entire community. Unlike a faculty hire, we are not hiring a full-time peer, but a part-time employee, who may have part time employment elsewhere, and that influenced us to respect the privacy of the applicants' job search effort with us.
However, the Board wants the community to have input into the ED position - which is why we will include community feedback and input in the performance review process. There are a couple of different ways we can do this, such as anonymous feedback that the Board aggregates and discusses with the ED on a regular basis. Let us know if you have ideas on how the Board can best gather, and share, your feedback with our ED.