A total of 111 candidates applied to replace Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Don Mills after he announced he would step down to join the faculty of the College of Education May 31.
A committee has now narrowed that field down to five or six candidates, Provost Nowell Donovan said.
William Spelman Executive Search, the company who conducted the initial search for a replacement, advertised the position and then narrowed the candidates down to 15 based on criteria such as salary and job duties, Donovan said.
Donovan said he and the search committee met Feb. 10 to pick five or six candidates and that the committee aims to reach a final decision in March. Donovan could not reveal the names or other details of any of the candidates, he said.
The search committee has served to make recommendations for the position, and Chancellor Victor Boschini will make the final decision, Donovan said.
According to the university website, the vice chancellor for student affairs is responsible for forming and planning policies relating to student life and services. The office also works with campus security, crime prevention, and parking.
Mills said he was not involved in the process to pick his successor but that he did have an idea of what type of person he would like to see take his place. The final candidate should be not be afraid to take risks and step outside of the box, he said.
“It needs to be someone who is creative [and] who’s innovative,” he said.
He said his goal had always been to provide the best campus experience to the most students as possible. After almost two decades as vice chancellor for student affairs, Mills gave a little advice for his successor.
“TCU students are smart,” he said. “They’re great to work with. Keep your office door open so that you can be engaged with as many students as possible.”
Mills said that although he will leave some matters he has worked on open-ended to allow his successor’s input, he did want to tie up a few loose ends before the end of May.
After moving to the College of Education, Mills will teach and will work to develop a doctoral program for people who want to be administrators in higher education, he said. The program will focus on secondary and higher education leadership, he said.