ROCK HILL, S.C. – Winthrop President Anthony DiGiorgio first told the university Board of Trustees of his plan to retire in summer of 2013 at an annual on-campus weekend retreat last month.
“It was emotional for all of us,” Board Chair Dalton Floyd of Surfside Beach, S.C., reported. “Some of us around the table have worked with Tony in one capacity or another for over 20 years. We know his energy, his devotion, and his vision for Winthrop. It’s hard to imagine anyone else in the president’s chair."
But it was the president, himself, Floyd said, “who got us focused back on the task ahead that day. He had already researched current best practices in presidential searches, and prepared a draft timetable consistent with academic search processes for us. We had some good discussions that day as a result.”
“The trustees see this as a search for the best person to carry out a trajectory for Winthrop that has been years in the making,” Floyd said. “That will require certain qualities, and we will spend some more time talking among ourselves, with others, and with the Search and Screening Committee members about what those should be. We’ll use a consultant when it makes sense, mainly because those folks are professionals who know where the talent is in this field. They can recruit candidates and reach out to those who may be in a position to nominate someone for consideration, and bring those people to the Search and Screening Committee’s attention.”
While details have yet to be worked out, the end goal of the process will be for the search group to bring the trustees an unranked list of individuals believed to have the qualifications to become the tenth president of Winthrop, the chairman said, adding, “then the trustees’ work really begins.
“We eventually will have the finalists come to Rock Hill to visit with key groups both on- and off-campus, because that’s what a president does. Those groups will be asked for feedback, too,” Floyd promised.
The final choice will be the board’s, he emphasized, because “that’s the most important job we trustees have – to ensure we have the right leadership in place.”
Floyd envisions the board will make its selection in spring 2013, with the transition to the tenth president of Winthrop University to occur over the following summer.
Tentative Timetable for Selection of the Tenth President of Winthrop University
April 13, 2012: Board of Trustees (BOT) will authorize search process, name a Search and Screening Committee (SSC,) and establish means of communicating to and with key constituent groups, as well as the general public, about the status of the search.
• April/May: SSC will have organizational meeting, review their charge, adopt operating and confidentiality guidelines, review applications from search consultants, etc.
June 8, 2012: BOT will consider recommendation for search consultant to work with SSC.
• June/July/August: SSC and consultant establish priorities and qualities of desired candidates with consultants and place vacancy announcements in national trade publications.
• September/October/November: SSC and consultant recruit candidates and review applications and nominations on a rolling basis. Unqualified candidates will be notified; top tier candidates are identified.
• November/December: Pool of 10 semi-finalists is identified and references initially checked. Interviews are conducted by SSC.
• SSC and consultants continue screening, then announce finalist candidates, who are invited to Rock Hill for meetings with various campus groups and public groups.
• Candidate visits are scheduled; SSC and consultant host finalists on campus.
• Following review of input from various groups, SSC prepares an unranked list of finalists they believe to be qualified to be the 10th president of Winthrop University.
• Board of Trustees receives recommendations and all related information from SSC and consultant.
• Preferred candidate is chosen and a contract is negotiated with preferred candidate.
• BOT announces 10th president of Winthrop University.
• Tenth President of Winthrop University takes office.