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Confidentiality Concerns and Open Interviews

Confidentiality Concerns and Open Interviews

This question is taken from AGB Search's monthly newsletter, "Securing Leadership," which features two questions—one frequently asked by search committee members and another often posed by candidates. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

A Candidate Asks: I have concerns about confidentiality, but the institution is holding open campus interviews. What are my options?

If you have confidentiality concerns, be sure to make that clear to the search consultant early in the process, as sometimes search committees have the flexibility to keep the final interview process closed or protected.

But even in an open process, there are things a committee can do to limit exposure, such as:

  • Not providing a press release announcing the interviews
  • Sharing the interview schedule and candidate names only through secure campus networks
  • Releasing candidate names a short time (perhaps 24 hours) before they will be on campus

In searches at public institutions in open-record states, there is little that can be done to protect confidentiality of finalists.

But in other situations, there are often ways that confidentially can be preserved if you make your needs known up front.

Public or independent, if your institution has a presidential search in its future, consider attending Changing Leadership: How to Conduct a Presidential Search and Manage the Transition at AGB's National Conference on Trusteeship, April 1-4, 2017, in Dallas, TX.
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