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Thread: Another national search goes local

  1. #1
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    Default Another national search goes local

    Once again, a “national search” in South Dakota for a high-level university administrator ended about where the hunt began. Most recently, Sheila Gestring, chief bean counter at USD, was selected by the Board of Regents to succeed Jim Abbott as president. The Regents’ search a couple years ago for a successor to SDSU President David Chicoine had a similar result, with in-school candidate Barry Dunn getting the job. The phrase “national search” has become a joke.
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    Default Re: Another national search goes local

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacked_Up View Post
    Once again, a “national search” in South Dakota for a high-level university administrator ended about where the hunt began. Most recently, Sheila Gestring, chief bean counter at USD, was selected by the Board of Regents to succeed Jim Abbott as president. The Regents’ search a couple years ago for a successor to SDSU President David Chicoine had a similar result, with in-school candidate Barry Dunn getting the job. The phrase “national search” has become a joke.
    Seems this National search is required by statute or has that been changed?
    Last edited by Nidaros; 05-08-2018 at 07:38 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Another national search goes local

    Quote Originally Posted by Nidaros View Post
    Seems this National searche is required by statute or has that been changed?
    Organizations (both public and private) have to give the appearance of a fair hiring process, but 9 times out of 10 the decision is made before the job is posted. IMO.

    For high level jobs, the people who get screwed keep their mouths shut because there is no point to complaining and if they do they are blacklisted.
    “I used to be with it. But then they changed what it was. Now what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s it seems scary and wierd. It’ll happen to you.” — Abe Simpson

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    Default Re: Another national search goes local

    Quote Originally Posted by SF_Rabbit_Fan View Post
    Organizations (both public and private) have to give the appearance of a fair hiring process, but 9 times out of 10 the decision is made before the job is posted. IMO.

    For high level jobs, the people who get screwed keep their mouths shut because there is no point to complaining and if they do they are blacklisted.
    I think you have struck gold with the comment 9 out of 10, the decision is made before the job is posted. USD choice sure looks like that was the case. I recall the President before Abbott was a woman from Arizona, I believe. She did not help USD or the state of South Dakota. She had a very faithful First Man, who was always following her around at basketball games. With a national search, big mistakes can be made. Jim Abbott has done a good job at USD.

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    Default Re: Another national search goes local

    A lot of employers open a job search even if they have an internal candidate I mind. Might not be a national search but they don't just promote with out opening the job search and interviewing before making an offer. Some times that ducks though for the others considering they might have been a long shot at best.
    "The most rewarding things you do in life, are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.” Arnold Palmer

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    Default Re: Another national search goes local

    And just because they hired from within doesn't mean they didn't actually search on a national level.

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    Default Re: Another national search goes local

    Quote Originally Posted by BTownJack View Post
    And just because they hired from within doesn't mean they didn't actually search on a national level.
    Universities rarely if ever fake national searches. (Some searches are designated internal from the start.) A search committee is always formed that solicits and reviews candidates and recommends two-four to the person who actually does the hiring. Nothing would turn a search committee off more to a candidate than getting the impression that the decision had already been made in favor of a particular candidate. Inside candidates sometimes have an inside track because they know better what the issues are and can address them better in the interview process as well as be able to avoid land mines, but being an inside candidate also can be a disadvantage because everyone has an opinion about you and no one makes everyone happy. Inside candidates are also more likely to take the position at a lower salary. It is not unusual for an external candidate to have to take a pay cut to come to South Dakota even for a promotion in title, and many are not willing to do that. For some search committees there is a tendency to be comfortable with someone they know and with other committees there is a strong preference for new blood. I have been on many national search committees and can't think of any where the successful candidate was determined. I've been a successful and an unsuccessful applicant and seen being an internal candidate working to both my advantage and my disadvantage. I don't know the new USD President so don't have an opinion on her.

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    Default Re: Another national search goes local

    USD's final 4 for their president position would prove it was closer to a national search than not:

    1. Kelli McCormack/Brown (Georgia State)
    2. Christopher Callahan (Arizona State)
    3. Sheila Gestring (U. South Dakota)
    4. Phillip Way (Slippery Rock)

    https://www.argusleader.com/story/ne...ent/536960002/

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    Default Re: Another national search goes local

    Quote Originally Posted by BTownJack View Post
    USD's final 4 for their president position would prove it was closer to a national search than not:

    1. Kelli McCormack/Brown (Georgia State)
    2. Christopher Callahan (Arizona State)
    3. Sheila Gestring (U. South Dakota)
    4. Phillip Way (Slippery Rock)

    https://www.argusleader.com/story/ne...ent/536960002/
    Yes it does look like a national search and whether they made the right choice remains to be seen, but picking the main bean counter can not be all bad, she will come in with a huge understanding of finance at USD, working with the SDBOR and the legislature. Does she know how to deal with all the issues coming down the road? How well is she liked in the USD community? These are some of the unanswered questions but a another look at the article cited in BTown post indicates a good choice:

    Gestring: Vice president of finance and chief financial officer, University of South Dakota. As chief financial officer since 2010 and on the USD finance staff since 2006, Gestring has stabilized the university’s financial position, developed innovative financing plans for new facilities, and worked with the USD Foundation to set major fund-raising goals and priorities for the university. A record-setting donor campaign surpassed its goal of $250 million several months early. Prior to coming to USD, Gestring was chief financial officer at Flathead Valley Community College in Montana and worked in increasingly responsible finance positions for South Dakota state government. She has a M.B.A. from the University of South Dakota and a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration from the University of Sioux Falls.

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    Default Re: Another national search goes local

    I'd prefer a visionary-type in the top leadership position at a state university. The president can get all the bean-counting and care-taking help that he or she needs. Is President Dunn a visionary? I don't know. He hasn't demonstrated much yet. In the early years, few would have accused President Abbott of being a visionary, either. He was a politician and businessman who slowly earned broad support. I liked David Chicoine. I think he is under-appreciated for the overall job he did as president at SDSU.
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