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Moving along in the search for a new president, the Northwest Board of Regents announced the names of the 11 people who will sit on the Presidential Search Committee at its Aug. 4 meeting. 

Peter Adam was selected as a faculty representative on the Search Committee. Adam was nominated by Faculty Senate for this role. He sat as the 48th president of Faculty Senate for the 2021-2022 school year and served on the Natural Sciences Department Anatomist Faculty Search Committee from 2008 to 2009 and 2021 to 2022. 

Allison Atkinson is representing the Alumni Association and currently sits as president. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Northwest in 2006 and most recently a doctorate this year through Northwest and the University of Columbia-Missouri. She has been a member of the Alumni Association since 2015.

Rod Barr was chosen to represent the agricultural side of Northwest during the search process. 

“When we spoke to the search firm, they strongly encouraged us –I think two of the three had seen our Ag Learning Center and know about our growth and emphasis in that area and when I kind of walked through with them who we considered our constituent groups, they strongly encouraged us to have somebody from the agricultural sector on the group,” Regent Chair John Moore said.

Barr is the director of the School of Agricultural Sciences and assisted with the creation of the Agricultural Learning Center. He also was a member of dean search and faculty search committees from 2010 to 2022. 

One of the people representing the Northwest Foundation Board will be represented by President Leisha Barry. Barry graduated from Northwest in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in medical technology and has been on the Board since 2017 serving multiple different positions. 

Carl Hughes will also be representing the Northwest Foundation on the committee. Hughes graduated from Northwest in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. Years later he and his wife Cheryl went on to create the Hughes Family Foundation which played a crucial role in raising funds for the construction of the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse. Carl Hughes has been a member of the Foundation Board since 2014. 

Tyrone Bates is currently the vice president of the Black Alumni and Friends Chapter of the Northwest Alumni Association and was chosen to represent the chapter on the committee. He has worked as the coordinator of diversity, equity and inclusion at the Shawnee Mission School District since 2019 has served as the president and CEO of TRUE Empowering since 2010. 

Selena Foreman and Gina Smith were both selected to represent Northwest staff. Foreman sits as the executive committee chair of Staff Council and has served on the Mozingo Advisory Board since 2020. Smith was the Staff Council secretary from July 2020 to June 2022 and worked on the Issues of Race Action Green Team from June 2020 to June 2021 as well as has been a member of the Northwest Foundation Board since 2020. 

Dannen Merrill, Maryville’s mayor-tem and Northwest alumnus, will also sit on the committee. During his time at Northwest, he served on Student Senate from 2013 to 2015 and was heavily involved in Greek Life. Moore said that he will bring a ‘younger’ perspective to the search. 

Student Senate President Elizabeth Motazedi will be representing Student Senate on the committee. 

Matthew Walker, director of the School of Communications and Mass Media, will be bringing perspective as an academic administrative representative. Walker has been at Northwest since 2001, starting as an assistant professor and has served on the Extended Leadership Team at Northwest since 2012. 

Moore said Husch Blackwell Law Firm’s Partner Hayley Hanson, or one of her representatives will be at the search committee meetings. Krista Barcus, the assistant vice president of human resources, will also be attending the meetings along with Diane Hargrave, the Board of Regents secretary, or another member will serve as a recordkeeper for those meetings. 

As for the Northwest Leadership Team and its input on candidates, Moore said there will be a separate opportunity where its members will provide comments, but will be unrelated to the search committee. 

He said that many discussions will be made in open meetings, while discussion of specific candidates will be discussed in closed session.  

“We have been strongly advised by our search committee, that if you do not maintain confidentiality in the early stages of the search, some of the very people who you want to apply, will not apply,” Moore said. “They don’t want their current employer to be aware of the fact that they are looking into this possibility. Once you get to the finalist stage, it just comes with the territory if you make it that far, but until that point, we will probably be trying to keep the names of the candidates confidential.” 

Moore said they will share broad information, including the numbers of candidates Northwest is looking at, but will stray away from specifics until further in the interviewing process. 

As the search continues for a permanent president, Moore announced there will be two days, Aug. 22 and Aug. 23, when Anthem Executive will be on campus interviewing different groups of people –like faculty, students and alumni– for what they are looking for in a new president. People will also be allowed to nominate specific people for the firm to consider in their search.

In order to allow more opportunity for people to participate in these meetings, Moore said there will be at least one meeting via Zoom. He also said there will be a survey sent out to gain more input. 

Moore announced there will be around seven or eight different sessions, and an exact schedule for the different meetings will be released within the next few days. 

“We’ve been told over the last few months by a number of people that they want to see this process be as transparent as possible and they want to have a voice in the matter, so we are structuring this to where that will be the case,” Moore said. 

After these sessions, the Board will approve the profile made by feedback at its Sept. 8 meeting. After being approved, it will launch a two-month-long process where the firm will reach out to potential candidates. 

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