A former Lawrence school board member said Monday that hiring three Kansas University faculty members to help select a superintendent in 1984 did not take control away from the school board.
"They were our hired guns. They did what we asked them to do," former board member Mary Lou Wright said at Monday's school board meeting. "We were in control . . . not them."
The board needs to decide on a process for finding a successor to Supt. Dan Neuenswander, who announced his resignation last Tuesday. He is leaving the district in July to become superintendent of the Pittsburg school district.
MS. WRIGHT explained that in the first phase of the 1984 screening process, three board members worked with three faculty members from KU's School of Education in sifting through 44 applications. She said those three board members were involved because they weren't willing to turn over the screening process entirely to someone else.
Ms. Wright said that once the candidates were narrowed to 12 semi-finalists, all seven board members took part in examining applications while the three KU facilitators checked references. She said the facilitators were not involved in interviewing the final five candidates.
Ms. Wright added that a "community committee" representing administrators, classified employees, the Lawrence Education Assn., the Lawrence Schools Area Council, parents and several community members also interviewed the final five candidates.
The candidates had an application deadline of March 30, Ms. Wright said, and the board met its deadline of hiring a superintendent by May 1. Carl Knox, who was the outgoing superintendent at that time, had announced his retirement in January.
Board President Mary Loveland said Monday that the board hopes to have selected a new superintendent by April 17. She said March 20 would be the application deadline.
"WE NEED to get the process going," she said.
Neuenswander said the board already announced the job opening in 120-150 professional publications.
The board will meet again to discuss the superintendent selection process at 5:30 p.m. today at the district's Service Center, 3705 Clinton Pkwy.
Loveland said that by using board members' suggestions for candidate qualifications and the 1984 candidate application form, a preliminary application form will be prepared for discussion today.