Archive for Wednesday, September 24, 2008

District hopes to select superintendent search firm by Oct. 20

The Lawrence School Board could choose the firm that will lead the search for a new superintendent with the next month.

September 24, 2008


A subcommittee of Lawrence school board members met Wednesday at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive, and said they could make a decision by Oct. 20 on a search firm to find Superintendent Randy Weseman's replacement.

School board president Craig Grant, with board members Rich Minder and Linda Robinson, and David Cunningham, one of the district's human resources directors, whittled a lengthy list of search firms to 11, most of which are based in the Midwest.

Cunningham will draft a request for proposal for the 11 firms, and the committee expects to have their responses by Oct. 10.

Weseman announced his retirement in August, and the school board voted during Monday's school board meeting to retain a search firm. Time is of the essence because the district must hire not only a superintendent, but also replacements for Deputy Superintendent Bruce Passman and Chief Operations Officer Mary Rodriguez, who announced their retirements last week.

Board members are debating whether they want to allow a new superintendent to bring in his or her own deputies.

"Also important is how quickly you need to have that person in the loop," Cunningham said. "If you wait until March, you're really late in the game."

Despite the committee's best efforts to be expedient, a job listing for the position might not be posted until sometime in November, giving the board a small window for screening candidates and settling on Weseman's replacement.


Joe Hyde 9 years, 6 months ago

Maybe I missed it in past years, but has USD 497 always hired superintendants this way? By hiring a search firm to hunt for replacements for these key personnel, it seems we're adding a layer of decision-making that is not really needed. What's wrong with our school board composing an ordinary "Help Wanted" ad asking for applications to fill our (soon-to-be-vacant) superintendant position. Pay a modest sum to have the ad printed in all the relevant public education journals, and then sit back and see who takes the bait? Isn't this the first thing a hiring firm would do anyway?To waste time debating which hiring firm to hire...this strikes me as something the Kansas City, Missouri school board would do as a CYA move. Spend more money than is needed to accomplish the task, and make it easy for board members to duck political responsibility in case they hire the wrong person. You know, if things go haywire down the road?

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