Chancellor search delayed a month

The search for a new Duke University Health System Chancellor of Health Affairs continues, as scheduling conflicts between the candidates and the search committee members delay the decision process. Originally slated for the end of March, the announcement of whom will replace current Chancellor of Health Affairs Dr. Ralph Snyderman has been pushed back to April.


 "[The projected announcement date] didn't take into account the fact that the candidates for a job like this are very busy people.... The same is true of some of the people on campus they need to meet," President Nan Keohane said. "So it's been hard to work out schedules for the interview."


 Jeff Molter, director of medical center news services, said a date for the announcement has not yet been set. "We're getting close to a CEO announcement and we don't know when that's going to happen for at least a little bit longer," he said.


 Although the date for when the announcement will take place is not known, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations John Burness said he expects the search committee to reach a decision in less than a month.


 "Because of the schedules of candidates and those interviewing them, we will not be able to reach a March deadline--we're talking about mid-April at the latest," Burness said. "It was just a thing of scheduling... [The announcement deadline] was always tentative."

Keohane said a new chancellor will definitely be announced before the end of the spring semester, which provides for a slightly longer time table than mid-April.


 "In order to be realistic, we are now targeting the end of April.... I'd like to give a bit more leeway, since it's important to be clear about our expectations now," Keohane said. "That still leaves plenty of time for a transition in July, for a job of this kind, and will allow us to do our job thoroughly. If things are finished before then, fine, but realistically that's probably when it will be."


 The search for Snyderman's replacement, however, had been intentionally delayed in order for the University's president-elect to be appointed first. President-elect Richard Brodhead has since been involved in the chancellor search since his appointment in December.


 "It was important to get the selection of the new president out first so that the new president could be involved in the decision of who the chancellor will be," Burness said. "And since the new president is going to be the new chancellor's boss, you also want the new chancellor to know who his boss will be and to see if the fit was right."


 Keohane added that she thought the original time table for the chancellor announcement was probably too optimistic.

"When a search begins, you really don't know how long it will take," she said. "You make your best guess, and we thought the end of March was reasonable."


 Although the announcements of Keohane and Snyderman stepping down in tandem has been unprecedented, Burness said nobody in the administration is concerned with the time table for appointed Snyderman's replacement at this point.


 "I don't think we've had a circumstance quite like the current one before," Burness said. "I think this is all coincidence."

Keohane has been the University's president for 11 years and announced her decision to step down last February, and Snyderman has been the chancellor of health affairs for 15 years and announced his decision last March.


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