The search committee to find a permanent director to the Honors Program met Jan. 27 at Tigert Hall to discuss narrowing down applicants and finalizing a selection by summer at the latest.
The committee will review initial candidate résumés before Jan. 30. Applications require a résumé, cover letter and a statement of commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
A representative of UF Human Resources who will aid the search reminded the committee to refrain from searching for information about applicants outside of their application documents. Basing reviews solely off provided information would ensure impartiality and reduce potential biases, the representative said.
Committee chair and math professor Kevin Knudson said he wishes the search process was blind, meaning committee members wouldn’t see any personal identifying information about the candidates. Blind searches may reduce bias, Knudson said.
“You're likely to know some of the candidates,” he said to the committee. “Be careful not to let that cloud your thinking, positively or negatively.”
Knudson recommended the committee send questions in advance to applicants who make it to the interview round. Sending questions would allow time for applicants to think about their answers, he said.
Knudson also noted surprise questions disadvantage applicants who may not have had access to interview preparation materials.
“You’ll get more thoughtful answers,” he said. “Being an administrator is not a constant series of ‘gotcha’ moments.”
About half of the applicants reside in the southern United States as of Jan. 27, but the committee has also received applications from the Northeast and Midwest, according to the presentation shown at the meeting.
The committee will reconvene Feb. 8 in Tigert Hall to discuss each member’s top three nominations and review interview questions.
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Alissa Gary is a second-year journalism major who's covering K-12 education for The Alligator. She has previously reported on student government and university administration. Aside from writing, she likes to take care of her plants and play (and usually win) the New York Times sudoku puzzle.