Selection Process for UMass President to be Different

The editorial in today’s Boston Globe addresses the process for choosing the next President of the University of Massachusetts system. Charging that procedures of the past smack of at least the perception of manipulation, the editorial touts what purports to be a different approach to replacing retiring President Jack Wilson.

With Wilson slated to leave the president’s job next year, some prominent members of the UMass community are worried about a repeat of that sorry performance. That’s why it is heartening to hear James Karam, vice chairman of the trustees and chairman of the search committee, declare that this presidential-selection process will be different. Karam says he is hoping to find a way that the full board can meet with the top candidates confidentially, so as not to hurt them with their current employers. Still, the search committee chairman says he’s committed to having the full board of trustees interview the finalists before voting for a new president.

“The board is definitely going to interview them,’’ Karam said in an interview. “If the process doesn’t feel right, smell right, and look right, we are not going to get the best candidates to apply.’’

Karam is absolutely right about that. And his assurance is an important step toward restoring confidence in the university’s selection process.

Read the full Globe editorial here.