UPDATE, 8/28/23: Ms. Charlton's Curriculum Vitae has been posted for review.
UPDATE, 8/24/23: The agenda for the Board of Regents special meeting was posted today. It includes a proposal to appoint the current Officer In Charge, Patty Charlton, as the interim Chancellor. In lieu of a resume or curriculum vitae for Ms. Charlton, the agenda item included pages from Title 2, Chapter 1 of the Board of Regents Handbook which describe the various processes for selecting a chancellor, including an interim. The following language pertains:
Prior to making the recommendation of an acting or interim Chancellor, the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board shall first meet with major constituencies of the NSHE, including presidents and faculty senate chairs, to receive their suggestions and input for the appointment of an acting or interim Chancellor. Additional constituencies may include, but are not limited to provosts, vice presidents, faculty and other institution staff, vice chancellors and other system staff, student leadership . . .
As mentioned in the earlier post, the Chair and Vice Chair did seek input from some of these constituencies, but it appears to have been limited to the characteristics each group was looking for in the ideal chancellor. It does not appear that the qualifications of candidates under consideration were discussed with these constituencies, at least not with faculty leaders. Even Ms. Charlton's qualifications have not been revealed.
While Ms. Charlton has a record consisting of many years of strong leadership at CSN, this selection process has been conducted almost totally in the dark with only cursory input from constituent groups. It totally ignored the principles of shared governance and robs the position of legitimacy. It just makes the job of righting a listing organization that much more difficult.
ORIGINAL POST: By all accounts, the Board of Regents appears poised to choose an interim chancellor for the Nevada System of Higher Education at a special meeting scheduled for Tuesday, August 29, 2023. While the need for a leader at the helm of NSHE has grown critical, the process for selecting one has grown murky.
In a letter to members of the Board of Regents, NFA State Board members expressed concern that transparency and communication are non-existent in the selection process, violating the tenets of shared governance. While the procedures for conducting a national search for any NSHE executive is clearly defined and understood, no such guidelines exist for selecting an executive in an interim capacity. BOR policy allows an individual in an interim position to subsequently be appointed to the permanent position without any further search or vetting beyond their on-the-job performance. Because of this, it is crucial that the selection of an individual for the interim position be equally rigorous and transparent as a traditional national search. Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be the case in this instance.
In conversations with our Faculty Senate colleagues, we have learned that members of Board leadership have met with the Faculty Senate chairs as a group, but only to solicit input about what the chairs consider to be desirable characteristics for the interim Chancellor. Apparently, similar meetings have occurred with other constituency groups, such as student government representatives. While this input is essential, it will not meet the standards of shared governance if it is the limit of their involvement in the final selection.
Our concerns are heightened by the persistent rumors that are emerging across the system in the absence of real communication. According to these rumors, there is a short list of individuals already under consideration, and the names that are mentioned are remarkably consistent from one institution's grapevine to the next.
NFA officers have requested full disclosure by the Board of Regents of the finalists for this position as well as a description of the process and criteria used for the selection. We also requested that this information be made publicly available at least two weeks prior to the Board of Regents taking a vote to appoint the interim chancellor. Lack of disclosure will not only lead rank and file employees to assume the appointment is a back-room deal, but it also robs the appointee of the legitimacy that is necessary to restore stability in the Nevada System of Higher Education.
All NSHE faculty members should be alarmed by this disregard of the principles of shared governance, and we urge them to express their concern with Regents and other higher education stakeholders.