Last updated on 2014.08.15
Well, that's peculiar: after averring repeatedly that interim Dakota State University president David B. Borofsky was not a candidate for the permanent leadership position, the Board of Regents held a special meeting today to give Borofsky the permanent appointment.
Let's review. January 26, 2012:
[Regents president Kathryn] Johnson said the regents worked with the Registry for College and University Presidents, a national search firm that specializes in identifying candidates for transitional interim leadership roles. Borofsky will not be a candidate for the permanent president's position at Dakota State [SDBOR press release, 2012.01.26].
Douglas Knowlton left in February to take a higher education position in Minnesota, after serving eight years as DSU's president. David B. Borofsky is serving as interim president at Dakota State and is not a candidate for the permanent position [DSU press release, 2012.05.17].
Initially the Regents said Borofsky would not be a candidate for the permanent position, but Johnson said the board reconsidered because of a "groundswell of support from the campus and community" [Sarah Reinecke, "David Borofsky Named President of Dakota State University," that Sioux Falls paper, 2012.10.22].
Groundswell? Here's the local Tweet that alerted me to Borofsky's appointment:
As the new interim president at Dakota State University, I will make it my goal t...Wait, they picked Borofsky? Son of a b....
—MadTown (@MadTownSD) October 22, 2012
(That Twitter account isn't me, I promise.)
What could explain this about face? Johnson's assertion is not prima facie absurd. However, the Regents appointed the presidential search committee last May. They've had five months to take applications. Did no one good apply? Did no one apply? With several months left before the original transition deadline of mid-2013, did the search committee become convinced that no one else worth looking at was going to apply, and that what we've got is the best we'll get?
That's not impossible: universities nationwide are seeing so much administrative turnover that open positions may outnumber candidates.
"Because demand exceeds the supply of traditional candidates, we see search committees rethinking what is "acceptable" and what is best for their own institutions," said Jan Greenwood, an executive search consultant with the form Greenwood/Asher & Associates who worked with the University of Arizona last year and is working with the University of Florida this year [Kevin Kiley, "Searching for an Answer," Inside Higher Ed, October 4, 2012].
So it is entirely possible that, after swearing they would not consider him as a candidate, our Regents now see as "acceptable" an interim candidate whose last school (as I reported in January) "made deceptive or otherwise questionable statements to G.A.O.'s undercover applicants" and profited heftily from students who were left with huge loans and worthless diplomas.
But as the Madison Daily Leader reports, Borofsky has raised lots of money and joined lots of local clubs. So sit down, search committee. Your work, if you had any to do, is done.