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What was the timeframe for the chancellor selection process?

UC President Janet Napolitano announced on August 9, 2016, that she would immediately form a search committee and conduct a national search for a new chancellor to lead UC Davis.

Selecting the next chancellor for Davis was a critically important endeavor. The entire process took several months and was anticipated to conclude by winter or spring 2017. While time is a factor, ultimately the most important goal was to find the right individual to lead Davis.

Who selected the next chancellor? Who makes the final decision?

On Sept. 13, UC President Janet Napolitano announced the formation of a search advisory committee of university faculty, staff, students, alumni and foundation representatives and Regents to help in the international search for a new chancellor to lead UC Davis. Read the news release.

Per Regents policy, the search advisory committee was charged with advising the President during the chancellor selection process. After the committee advised the President, she made her recommendation to the Regents for their consideration and approval.

How was the membership of the search advisory committee determined?

Consistent with Regents policy, a search advisory committee consisting of faculty from Davis and the rest of the University, staff, undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, Regents, and UC Davis Foundation representatives were named as members of the search advisory committee. They were involved in recruiting, screening, and conducting interviews with candidates for the position. Read the news release.

Was there broad representation on the search advisory committee?

Yes. The search advisory committee consisted of:

  • Five Regents, as well as the Chairman of the Board and the President of the University, who serve ex-officio;
  • Five faculty - one being either the Chair or Vice Chair of the systemwide Academic Senate; one being a faculty member from a campus other than the one that is the subject of the search, chosen from a panel submitted by the Academic Senate's Universitywide Committee on Committees; and three campus faculty members chosen from a panel submitted by the campus Academic Senate Committee on Committees;
  • One graduate and one undergraduate student appointed by the respective graduate and undergraduate student associations of the campus;
  • One alumni representative appointed by the alumni association of the campus;
  • One Foundation representative chosen by the President from a panel of names submitted by the Campus Foundation; and
  • One staff employee representative of the campus selected by the Campus Staff Assembly

All members of the advisory committee were invited to attend all meetings of the committee and encouraged to fully participate in discussion and debate.

What was the role of the Faculty Subcommittee?

The five faculty members of the search advisory committee also serve as members of the faculty subcommittee. The role of the faculty subcommittee was to review the biographies and backgrounds of approximately 500 potential candidates and to present its findings to the search advisory committee for the full committee’s consideration. Following discussion and deliberation, the full committee decided who should move forward in the process.

How was the Davis community be informed about the progress of the selection process?

This chancellor search website served as the official, central hub of news and information related to the selection process. Periodic updates about the search and the position description were posted on the website as they became available.

Was the position profile be posted to the web site so that the Davis community knew what type of candidates the search advisory committee was seeking?

Yes, the position profile is posted on the website.

Were there opportunities for input from the Davis community?

Absolutely. On September 27, the search advisory committee convened for the first time. The committee’s first meeting was Campus Day, where the committee heard presentations from a wide range of campus constituencies, including faculty, students and staff.

In addition to campus day, six town halls were held on Tuesday, October 11, to provide additional opportunities for input into the search advisory committee’s work. The first session was on the Sacramento campus, the other five on the Davis campus. During those sessions, search advisory committee members received input from the following:

  • Sacramento Campus
  • Academic Federation
  • Staff (hosted by Staff Assembly)
  • Academic Senate
  • Graduate and professional students (hosted by the Graduate Student Association)
  • Undergraduate students (hosted by ASUCD)

How were prospective candidates identified?

The faculty subcommittee reviewed the backgrounds of approximately 500 individuals over the course of the search and presented those individuals to the full search advisory committee for its consideration. These prospective candidates emerged in a number of ways:

  1. Nominations. Anyone interested in nominating a potential candidate could submit their name to
  2. Advertisements. An advertisement announcing the role was been posted online at the Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse Jobs, Hispanic Outlook, Women in Higher Education, Insight into Diversity, Vet Jobs, and the search firm website.
  3. Research strategy. With assistance for the search firm, the search advisory committee developed a robust research strategy to identify qualified individuals. The research strategy included: chancellors/presidents and provosts at AAU institutions, flagship state universities, top ranked national and public universities, top ranked agricultural universities, top ranked international universities, and top Hispanic and African-American degree producing universities; deans of agriculture, biological sciences, engineering, arts and sciences, graduate education, medicine, law, veterinary medicine, nursing, business, and education at top ranked national and public universities; civic leaders at the federal and state level; and chief executives of large foundations and non-profits.

Who made decisions about which candidates to move forward?

The search advisory committee and the President worked together to identify a pool of semifinalist candidates. These individuals were interviewed in person by the search advisory committee. Following the interviews, the search advisory committee provided feedback to the President about each of the semifinalists and each member recommended a subset of finalists to the President. From the pool of candidates interviewed and evaluated by the search advisory committee, the President made a final recommendation for the Board of Regents’ consideration after reviewing background checks, conducting reference calls, and initiating and reviewing the on-list and off-list references.

A final recommendation was made to the Board of Regents by the President on [DATE NEEDED HERE].

When will we know who the potential candidates are?

No information about individual candidates will be shared before the President makes her recommendation to the Board of Regents. This process is consistent with Board of Regents policy, but it is also designed to produce the very best outcome for the campus.

It is a common national practice to preserve the confidentiality of candidates during Chancellor or President searches for colleges and universities. For many prospective candidates, particularly sitting Chancellors and Presidents at other institutions, participating in a process that is not confidential would put their professional standing at risk. As a result, many such candidates will simply not participate in a process that does not preserve the confidentiality of their candidacy. By maintaining a confidential search process, UC ensures it can successfully engage the largest and most diverse set of candidates and maximizes its competitive position among other similar searches that may be occurring nationally.

To provide UC Davis community members with information about the wide range of candidates being considered by the search advisory committee, an overview of the demographic characteristics of the candidates reviewed as part of the search process, which maintains individual candidate anonymity, is provided on this website. This information will be updated throughout the search process.

Was a search firm engaged?

Yes. The search was assisted by the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller, a national firm with considerable experience in university chancellor and presidential searches. Isaacson, Miller has consulted with the UC on numerous executive searches over the past several years, including chancellor searches for Merced, San Diego, Riverside, San Francisco, and Irvine.

What was the role of the search firm?

The search firm served as staff to the search advisory committee and played no role in deciding what candidates should move forward in their search process. Their role was to help identify potential candidates; reach out to potential candidates to determine interest (with permission from the search advisory committee); to conduct research and due diligence on candidates; and to help facilitate the work of the search advisory committee, including posting advertisements, preparing materials, and assisting with meeting logistics.

Isaacson Miller is an employee-owned executive search firm dedicated to serving non-profit and mission driven organizations. The firm works closely with colleges and universities, foundations, human service agencies, research institutes, academic medical centers, arts and cultural groups, conservation and environmental organizations, and social justice and advocacy organizations. The firm is conducting this search for a fixed fee. The lead search consultant is a proud UC Davis alumnus.

What if I have questions about the chancellor selection process?

Anyone who has questions is encouraged to contact the search advisory committee at