ALAMOSA — Adams State University's interim president search committee has a lot of work on their hands to select a candidate before July 1. Between the posting of the job opening on April 27 and the May 15 deadline, ASU Human Resources Director Tracy Rogers received 77 applications.
"We had posted it at noon and by 1:30 p.m. I already had three applications," Tracy Rogers said at the search committee meeting on Wednesday. "They've been coming in ever since."
The job posting technically didn't preclude consideration of those that missed the deadline so the committee decided to officially not look at any late applications since they had an adequate pool. The new hire would replace ASU Interim President Matt Nehring, who took over after Beverlee McClure was placed on leave and subsequently resigned.
The main focus of the public portion of the meeting was reviewing equal opportunity employment categories, which ASU Title IX and EOE Director Ana Guevara said she goes through with every search committee. According to federal and state laws employers can't take race, skin color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability and more into consideration when hiring.
"When I say 'sex,' I mean every version and permutation of sex you can think about," Guevara said. "Transgender status, partner preference, gender preference, reproductive status, marital status, and pregnancy status. If somebody walks into these interviews nine months pregnant that is not something we take into consideration."
Though law protects race, diversity will be a selection factor since ASU is a Hispanic Serving Institution. Guevera said that that the search committee must be holistic when it comes to looking at diversity.
"Diversity is an incredibly important facet of what we do as a university and our campus makeup," she said. "It's not just skin color or national origin. It can be life experience, experience at other HSIs or at traditionally black colleges...I don't necessarily think that taking diversity into consideration with regard to our mission as a university would be violating any of these protective classes."
Guevera also stressed the importance of confidentially during the process. She said that the committee can't discuss the search among the group unless every member is present to prevent bias and that they can never talk about who applied—even once the search is over—because the confidentiality agreement is indefinite.
"We have 77 applicants. Lots of those people have jobs and we wouldn't want their employers to find out that they're looking for work," Guevera said. "It's really important that we keep this within the group."
Tracy Rogers took the opportunity to dismiss rumors regarding a secret list of applicants and that the board of trustees has already made up its mind with an internal hire.
"Let those folks know that is not accurate in any way, shape or form," Tracy Rogers told the committee. "This is a good process and we have a great applicant pool...If you hear these rumors, don't perpetuate them and put a stop to them.
"We wouldn't want to devote the kind of time for all of these people to spend to go through all of these applications and the process if we were able to magically bring somebody on," added Trustee Kathleen Rogers. "I've never been on something of this magnitude of applications."
After deciding that each committee member would narrow down the applicants to their personal top 10, the meeting went into an executive session for legal advice and to discuss individual applications.