We should consider and set in motion actions designed to begin our search for a permanent commissioner.† Our search will attract and retain the best candidates when we carefully reflect on the process and plan accordingly.† During the period in our January agenda when we consider the search process, I submit we discuss and consider the following:


  • Review relevant passages in state regulations, our policies, and especially the job description.† I have included some extracts from the verbatim transcript of the Constitutional Convention and we already have relevant regentís policies.


  • Consider the full board to be the search committee.† I suggest the board has, as one of its foremost duties, to select a Commissioner, and proscribe his term and duties.† This obligation should not be diluted by having a large search committee, representing all the constituencies with whom the commissioner deals.


I do recommend we solicit the opinion of key Montana governmental, business, and civic leaders as to the attributes and qualifications deemed essential for the performance of the duties of the commissioner.


         We need to spell out the characteristics and attributes the board wants in its next commissioner.† We should make a careful analysis of our current needs and opportunities and integrate the involvement and suggestions of the entire stateís community leaders.† The resulting public document should provide the basis and foundation of the recruitment and screening of candidates and the appointment of the next commissioner.


         Consider hiring a search firm to assist the board in generating a pool of applicants, screening the pool, interviewing semi-finalists and checking their references, identifying finalists, arranging visits, and making recommendations to the board.† We need to identify the tasks we wish the search firm to perform.† One practice that would provide our board with the greatest flexibility would be to have the search firm provide three to five unranked, qualified candidates for our final interview and selection.


I have provided contacted three firms, who provide various levels of assistance.† Their materials will be included.


         We also should consider setting a preliminary budget for the search, decide approximately when we want the new commissioner to begin full time duties, and set the range of compensation.


All the above is compiled from previous searches of which I have been involved, and is not intended to be an exhaustive list.† It is offered only as a point from which the board may wish to discuss the search process.