Columbia to develop job details on CA head

Agreement linked to 2009 successor to current president

December 05, 2007|By June Arney | June Arney,SUN REPORTER

The Columbia Association board has agreed to come up with a job description by next month for the president's position that is to be filled by May 1, 2009.

The timeline and procedure to be followed remain to be ironed out.

"I'm happy that we're going ahead with reviewing and coming up with a definition of what we want to see in the new president, because that will be an important part of the hiring process," said Barbara Russell, chairwoman of the Columbia Association, who lives in Oakland Mills. "A lot of time has passed since we reviewed it, and we want to make sure that it's on track with the current goals of the Columbia Association."

The job description will be presented to the search firm working on the replacement of President Maggie J. Brown, who will lead the organization for two more years. Brown had served under a three-year contract before she was given the current extension.

Earlier work by the Columbia Association's Board Operations Committee had established five other steps between the Jan. 24 job description deadline and the new president's start day. It assigned dates for the completion of additional tasks that included writing specifications for hiring a search firm, releasing the matter for bids and the timing of interviews by the board.

"They wanted more than a timeline," Russell said. "They wanted details of the process. It's gotten down to when will the public be involved and how will the public be involved."

The last time the Columbia Association conducted a national search for president, it fell apart amid infighting by board members. That search followed the departure of President Deborah O. McCarty, who left in May 2000 under pressure, after 20 months on the job.

Although that search was not entirely smooth and resulted in candidates withdrawing, the way in which the public participated worked well, Russell said.

"We had a public meeting where people were able to ask questions of the candidates," she said. " ... People really got a chance to see the final candidates and weigh in on them."

The Board Operations Committee will discuss details of the timeline for selecting a new president at its Dec. 17 meeting, Russell said.

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