Search firms provide expertise in looking for top candidates, Barchi says
University President Robert L. Barchi shared insight into the responsibilities of a search firm in filling top positions with the University, as well as what he is doing to prepare his ultimate successor.
A search firm is able to provide expertise in the specific field the University is looking for someone to take a position in, Barchi said in an interview with The Daily Targum. They have helped similar Universities in similar searches, and have put together contacts and candidates who understand what the job entails, he said.
“You pick a search firm that has specific expertise in the area that you want to work in,” Barchi said.
In early September, the Targum reported that a presidential search committee had been formed to choose Barchi’s successor when he steps down after eight years on the job in June 2020.
Barchi’s replacement should understand the diversity of New Jersey, the ethos of Rutgers and how healthcare and sciences interact with and are benefited by the humanities, he said. For sports, in terms of the search for a new head football coach, Barchi said candidates should know New Jersey and be able to recruit in New Jersey as well understand football's role at Rutgers.
“You are looking for the best fit, and the best fit is not always necessarily the person that the public, in general, thinks is the best person. It’s got to be the best fit for the University,” Barchi said.
For his successor, Barchi said he is having his leadership team focus on doing everything they can to prepare the next president for their role.
“The transition is a time, if you are not careful, when you can lose momentum. And the last thing I want to see is for Rutgers to lose momentum,” Barchi said.
He is not at all involved with the search process, and has no input or feedback on it. This was Barchi's choice, as in his past experience, predecessors being involved with finding their successor has not worked out well, he said.
The goal is to prepare a “memory book” and work with his successor to let them know what they can and cannot do, what they should and should not worry about and follow through at with everything promised, he said.
“We make sure we move right up to the first day of the next person in office without missing a beat, and that is what my whole senior leadership team is focused on,” Barchi said.
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