By Emily Leayman
As Student Government Board President Joe Scoboria gained the student representation on the presidential search committee. He and the rest of the SGB board worked to secure two student spots. The university heard the request and also appointed Letecia Garcia, a member of both SGB and the KU Council of Trustees.
Since Scoboria has the sole student spot on the committe (Garcia’s is a trustee position), he emphasizes how the candidate search impacts the students.
“Everyone has a stake in it. My stake is the students,” he said.
According to a Board of Governors policy, one controversy with the search process has been the committee adhering to confidentiality. When asked if students were properly informed about the process, Scoboria said they were. He has heard some students say they were not informed and understands that busy schedules interfere, but he says that emails were sent out.
He believes both his and Garcia’s voices are heard during the process.
“Going into it for myself, I was skeptical on how much voice I would have compared to [the] Council of Trustees, compared to the faculty, staff administration, [and the] union members, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that everybody’s voice mattered on this search committee,” he said.
He found it rewarding to interview the candidates since young people are usually the ones being interviewed.
“I got to sit down at the table and I got to look them in the face and I could ask them, ‘How are you going to take care of the students here?’”
The committee collectively agreed that the final five candidates best answered their questions and kept every constituency, from students to faculty to staff, in their answers.
The search started over the summer, according to Scoboria. He believes the process is moving fast, “but at a pace that we are going to find the best candidate.” By Dec. 2015, the committee was down to 25 candidates and conducting interviews at a hotel in Philadelphia. The interviews fell on the weekend before finals, so Scoboria and Garcia had to balance their time studying for final exams and studying the candidates.
“I’ve been able to balance it, but it’s been difficult at times. They don’t plan the search committee around [anyone’s] schedule…” he said, noting that all members managed the commitment. “We had to be up in a discussion table [at] seven in the morning to seven at night. It was tiring but we had to keep reminding ourselves, this isn’t for us, this is for Kutztown five, ten years down the road.”