The European Humanities University was honored to host seven distinguished candidates who were invited to campus as finalists for the position of University Rector this week.
The visits were arranged by the University at the request of a Search Committee established by the Governing Board of EHU at its September meeting; campus visits included meetings with current EHU students, faculty members, senior administration, and members of the Governing Board, who organized the candidates visit to coincide with their annual December meeting.
Each candidate participated in a moderated, hour-long group discussion organized by the students, and chaired by the elected President of the EHU Student Union, Dzianis Kuchynski. Organization of faculty group meetings for each visiting candidate was the responsibility of Professor Ryhor Miniankou, Chair of the EHU Senate.
A total of 60 EHU students and 60 faculty members participated in 14 group interviews over the course of the two-day period. Both student and faculty moderators were also responsible for collecting evaluation data from all of the interviewers of each candidate as well as summarizing in their respective groups major discussion points and observations about each candidate for the search committee. On-campus visits also included meetings with the EHU vice rectors and with the Search Committee of the Governing Board.
Because EHU is a multi-lingual institution, interviews were conducted in Belarusian, English, or Russian, depending on the preferences of those being interviewed. Search chair, Professor Dan Davidson, noted that "while the community is interested in meeting and evaluating candidates who have applied for the position at EHU, we always keep in mind that the candidates are sizing us and our institution up as well. We want to make sure that everyone feels that they have been given an opportunity to express their views about the university and get a good sense of the EHU community during their visit to the campus."
The search for the new rector was announced in early October and posted on the EHU website, along with contact information for the Search Committee. The same announcement was published in major international news outlets and list-serves, including the Times Supplement and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Applications for the position have been received from candidates from the Belarus, Lithuania, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Ukraine, U.K., and the U. S.
Of the seven finalists candidates invited to campus three are citizens of Belarus.
In the coming weeks the Search Committee and Board members will turn their attention to a careful review of the results of these two full days of interviews and discussions just completed, as the search prepares for its next phase: checking references, reviewing publications, and developing discussion points for the final stage of candidate evaluations.
The selection of a rector for EHU has understandably attracted high levels of interest within the community as well as from the media, government and private donor groups, alumni and friends of EHU around the world. "We welcome the positive attention and support, and are grateful for the advice that many have already shared with us," commented Dr. Daniel Tarschys, Chairman of the Governing Board.
The Governing Board hopes to make a recommendation to the Group of Part Owners, the final decision-making body, regarding the new rector position by March 1, 2015.