School board wants new super by June 2014

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By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes

Guidelines for the process of selecting an interim superintendent and then a permanent superintendent were the subject of a work session of the Salem-Keizer School Board on Tuesday.

Superintendent Sandy Husk, who has held her position for eight years, plans to leave in January 2014 to become chief executive officer of the San Diego-based AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), an education-promoting nonprofit.

No names of potential candidates for superintendent or even potential search firms were discussed at the meeting, which focused on preparations for hiring a search firm.

The process for hiring a search firm will involve advertising the vacancy in the superintendent post and adopting hiring procedures and hiring standards. It will involve feedback from the public at regular meetings of the board.

Mary Paulson, chief of staff for the district, said the procedures for hiring a permanent superintendent were likely to cost between $40,000 and $50,000 and would come from the contingency fund of the district budget.

Jim Green, board chairperson, noted that the interim superintendent would have to have superintendent licensure from the state of Oregon.

Nancy MacMorris-Adix, a board member, said experience in Oregon and experience with strategic plans are desirable.

Another director, Paul Kyllo, said budget experience is necessary.

Jeff Faville, a director, urged that the interim chief be someone needing as little learning curve as possible. He asked Green whether someone already in the district could be considered, and Green said yes.

Another board member, Rick Kimball, warned that hiring an interim superintendent within the district could reduce the pool of candidates for the permanent position by giving some candidates the impression that the interim chief has the inside track for the post.

Kimball also commented that a strong leadership record was needed for the permanent position.

Paul Dakopolos, counsel for the board, noted that the district must not pay a search firm more than $150,000. Paulson responded that the district could keep the fee at $50,000.

Green said the search firm should have a strong record of placing superintendents, and Kimball urged that its team should include someone familiar with the Northwest.

Following is the tentative calendar for the superintendent search process.

Nov. 12: Board adopts hiring standards, criteria, policy directives and procedure (regular meeting).

No later than Nov. 30: Board interviews and selects search firm (work session), determines criteria for superintendent selection and community feedback (work session), meets to discuss interim superintendent candidates (executive session).

Dec. 10: Board hires interim superintendent to begin Jan. 1, 2014 (regular meeting).

No later than Jan. 14: Board receives training for its role in search for permanent superintendent (work session) and adopts criteria for selection of superintendent (regular meeting).

January and February: Search firm recruits candidates.

No later than Feb. 28: Search firm presents slate of candidates to board (executive session).

No later than March 30: Board conducts first round of interviews (executive session).

No later than April 30: Finalists meet staff and community and tour district. Board conducts second round of interviews (executive session).

Date to be determined: Board representatives may visit districts of finalists.

No later than June 1: Board determines first choice of candidates, and board leadership works with legal counsel to negotiate contract (executive session). Superintendent is hired effective July 1, 2014 (regular meeting).

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