Forums featuring the final four candidates for director of admissions and recruitment were held last week, giving campus community members an opportunity to meet the individuals who may have a hand in shaping future generations of Badgers.

Each forum was one hour long, featuring a 15-minute introduction by the candidate and a 45-minute question-and-answer session.

Special Assistant to the Chancellor Dawn Crim said she feels the director appointment will be very influential for campus.

“Admissions is the front door to campus and the first contact point for students,” Crim said. “[The University of Wisconsin] has a lot of wonderful things to offer, and admissions really ties to telling the overall campus story.”

She added she thought the search, which began in February to replace Interim Director Tom Reason, and the forums have so far been successful.

“I feel like it’s gone very well,” Crim said. “I’m pleased with the finalists the committee has identified. I feel the on-campus process (has) gone very well.”

Freshman Admissions Operations Manager Bobbie Jean St. Arnauld said she is looking forward to the ways the admissions program will grow and positively contribute to the UW campus under the new director.

St. Arnauld said because UW is a large public university, it is hard to find somebody who meets the needs of the job.

She said she is looking for someone with a strong vision of what he or she wants in a class of students.

“The director is responsible for identifying what we want for a freshman class — what types of students we bring in will affect the composition of the student body,” she said.

Friday’s forum featured Director of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of South Florida J. Robert Spatig.

In his opening statement, Spatig said he believes the workings of the admissions process need to be open and accessible to the public.

“The campus and community need to know the truth about admissions,” Spatig said. “For too long we’ve made the process…deliberately opaque.”

Spatig said while his past experience in admissions has been with smaller schools than UW, he feels ready to take on the challenge of a bigger and more complex setting.

He said he feels he can use the strengths of UW to propel it toward future goals.

Spatig said he also has experience with programs designed to make transferring from one in-state school to another relatively easy. He said Florida has established a course number system that ensures consistency among all state colleges and universities.

As the flagship university in Wisconsin, Spatig said he believes UW could “take the lead in developing a statewide course numbering system that would allow for the ease of in-state transferring.”

St. Arnauld said the process — which involved multiple interviews with university committees and officials as well as the forums — is nearing an end.

“We’re hoping the new director will be on board by July 1,” said St. Arnauld. “But we’d love to have them as soon as possible.”