An official from the search firm assisting University of Wisconsin in its chancellor search said Monday making public the name of one of the chancellor candidates last week was “an honest mistake.”
Jorge Jos�, vice president for research at the University of Buffalo, is one of the nine candidates in the pool of applicants being reviewed for the position of chancellor whose names were released to the public. He told The Badger Herald last weekend the process had been “tainted” by the disclosure of his name, which he said was to remain confidential.
According to James Farrare, president and senior consultant at Academic Search, the search firm used by UW, each candidate received an informational packet in which they could request confidentiality.
“[Jos�] didn’t sign the form, but he stated in a letter that he wanted [his name] to stay confidential,” Farrare said. “It was very clear.”
Farrare added confidentiality is a serious concern for both the Search and Screen Committee conducting the process and the search firm involved.
“Early on in the search, some are not sure if they are really interested [in the position], but they are willing to explore,” Farrare said. “Or they don’t want to give anyone on their home campus any concern that they will leave too early, so they prefer to remain anonymous.”
Jos� said previously in an e-mail he made his request “for confidentiality VERY clear to the search firm,” and added confidentiality is essential “for anyone to agree to be considered for this type of a job.”
Farrare said Jos�’s request for anonymity may have been overlooked because the confidentiality form included in the packet of materials was not signed.
“In my view, this event taints the search process that takes away its seriousness and the lack of regard for the well-being of some of the candidates being considered,” Jos� said in the e-mail.
According to Farrare, he sent Jos� a letter Monday apologizing for the mistake. Jos� responded saying he hoped this would be the last time this happened, Farrare said.
Farrare added Academic Search and UW share the blame for this mistake because it would be difficult to determine who is at fault. He does not expect the event will affect the rest of the search process.
UW spokesperson Dennis Chaptman said the university has no official comment on the issue.