Decorah news. First. Fast. Free.
Go Back5

Luther College Board of Regents needs to handle its next presidential search differently

Posted: Mon, Mar 11, 2013 8:49 AM

Someone asked me on Friday whether, now that Dr. Mark Hagerott has withdrawn his name from the running as Luther College's next president, the Luther Board of Regents would talk with Dr. Ann Hill Duin, the other finalist for the position.

My answer was that the Board of Regents could do whatever it wished to do, but it was my opinion that in the way they had handled their announcement of February 23rd, the Board of Regents had done a disservice to both finalists.

I am not an alumni of Luther College.  As I have pointed out before, I am not a member of the ELCA.  So I think I qualify as an "impartial observer."

Here's what I think the Board of Regents did (unintentionally) when they announced they had told the search committee "to further explore the candidacy of a single finalist, Dr. Mark Hagerott,"

First of all, the statement made it clear that Dr. Duin was their second choice.  Second of all, it didn't take a lot of parsing of the statement to understand that the Board of Regents--or at least a fair number of its members--still had concerns about Dr. Hagerott.

By releasing Dr. Hagerott's name--instead of just saying "we're taking time to continue our research"--the statement managed to make slightly damaged goods out of both candidates at once.

As a news reporter, it's my job to defend the public's right to know.  That's why we gave the public as much information as we possibly could about Dr. Hagerott's candidacy--once the Board of Regents identified him as the top candidate. 

But I realize personnel issues are treated differently than all other information.  So here's some advice that goes against everything I normally believe in: I think the Board of Regents should say as little as possible about their next round of presidential candidate interviews.  In fact, I would recommend that they limit their comments to one of two statements: "We are still working on selecting a new president" or "Here is our new president."

Go Back5
Designed by Iroc Web Design Services.