NWC News Desk

NWC enters next phase in selecting a new president

Posted December 3, 2012
By NWC News Desk

POWELL, Wyo. - Northwest College will now begin the job of evaluating presidential applications to select semi-finalists who will be interviewed via video later in December.

Northwest launched the nationwide search this fall to replace President Paul Prestwich who will leave at the end of the 2012-13 academic year. Nominations and applications will be accepted until the position is filled, however, the deadline for full consideration was Friday, Nov. 30.

The search is being conducted with the assistance of Gold Hill Associates, a firm that specializes in community college presidential searches. Twenty-two applications were received by midnight Friday.

Gold Hill’s Preston Pulliams will be returning to campus Monday, Dec. 10, to meet with the NWC search committee, which is charged with reviewing applications and determining a list of semi-finalists.

Pulliams said he was very pleased with the applicant pool.

NWC Board of Trustees President Mark Westerhold concurred, saying “We’re delighted with the quality of candidates we’re looking at. We won’t be spending a lot of time ‘weeding out’ candidates. Instead, we’ll be spending time carefully comparing each and every one.”

Although the number of applicants is smaller than previous presidential searches at Northwest (47 applicants in 2008; 65 in 2003), Pulliams said it’s a sign of the times.

“Applicant pools are smaller all over than they were before the recession,” Pulliams said. “People are more reluctant to move when times are economically challenging. We’re also seeing more situations where spouses are working and less willing to move.

According to Pulliams, the recession is the number one reason for the smaller pool of applicants, but other considerations also factor into the equation.

“I've heard estimates from other search consultants that 20 percent of the colleges in California alone are looking for a president right now,” he said. “That makes it tough for smaller colleges who are also trying to entice candidates.”

Pulliams cited a recently completed successful search at a larger college in Texas where only 12 applications were received.

“My goal was for Northwest to receive 20 applications,” he said.

The 18-member search committee that will evaluate the applications and conduct the semi-finalist interviews comprises the seven members of the NWC Board of Trustees, plus NWC employee, student, Alumni Association and NWC Foundation representatives.

Semi-finalists will be scheduled in video interviews Dec. 17 and 18, and finalists will be brought to campus for interviews in mid-late January.

The goal is to have a president on board by July. Information about the NWC presidential search can be found online.