Presidential Search Committee Selection Process

Finalized 10/25/14

Applications and Suggestions

On November 1, 2014, we will begin accepting applications from people who wish to be considered for our nomination. In addition, we will publicly solicit suggestions of people whom we should invite to submit applications. In collecting these suggestions, we will ask for names and contact information of the potential applicants. All people suggested to us will be sent information on the application process.

We encourage those who suggest names to talk directly with the people they would like to run. Members of the committee will also directly encourage people to apply; all applications will be treated equally once they are submitted.

Application (Due July 15th, 2015)

We will ask for basic information in a web-based form. In addition, applicants will be required to do the following:

Submit a resume, with a cover letter describing why you are applying and why you believe you are qualified for the position. Please include contact information for three references who know you from a variety of settings. Please also submit a sermon you have given (both written and audio/video if possible).

In addition, please answer the following questions (four pages maximum, total):

  • What do you see as the optimal relationship between Unitarian Universalist congregations/covenanted communities and our Association headquarters?
  • How would you be a prophetic, public voice of Unitarian Universalism?
  • What is your vision for achieving the Association’s Ends concerning transforming power, privilege and oppression?
  • Describe your personal spiritual practice and sources of resilience.

Guidelines for Applicants

Applicants will be asked to agree to the following guidelines:

The Presidential Search Committee believes that our charge and process were part of an effort to create a different kind of democratic process and election for President of the UUA, one that is less expensive, more transparent, and more accesible than those in the past. Therefore, the Committee discourages candidates from public electioneering of any kind before release of our nominations on February 1, 2016, notwithstanding the current provisions of Rule G9.13.7. Failure to observe this expectation will be detrimental to one’s application for nomination.

The Committee, per UUA By-Laws, is obligated to nominate at least two candidates for the 2017 UUA presidential election. Potential applicants should enter this process with the understanding that nominees will need to run a campaign for election.

The Committee will have opportunities for potential applicants to discuss with us their discernment regarding submitting an application, including at General Assembly 2015. Involvement in such opportunties will have no bearing (positively or negatively) on the consideration of one’s application. Once applications are submitted, Committee members will not discuss applications outside of the formal process.

Interview Questions

We will give our finalists these questions ahead of time, and conduct video chat interviews that are recorded for all of the committee to look at.

  • Why do you want to be the President of the UUA?
  • How would you deploy Association resources to best serve potential Unitarian Universalists and those who identify as UU but are not members of congregations or covenanted communities?
  • Describe a time in which you had to inspire people to overcome a difficult situation.
  • What would you say to a potential major donor to convince them to donate to the UUA?
  • How would the diversity of our movement be reflected in your priorities as President?
  • We’re looking at the many ways in which the UUA President needs to relate to power—from advocacy to fundraising to ceremonial and positional power. Given that, how do you claim power for yourself? How do you engage with people who themselves hold a great deal of power?
  • Describe a healthy organizational culture and something you’ve done to help create one.
  • Have you engaged in personal or professional behavior that is in significant opposition to contemporary Unitarian Universalist ethical standards? If so, what does the Search Committee need to know?
  • Understanding that the role of President makes you a public religious figure, is there anything in your past that you feel the Search Committee needs to know about?
  • Plus 1 or 2 others that will be individualized for the candidate

Timeline and Process for Making Our Decisions

  • Completed applications must be received by the committee on or before July 15, 2015. We will confirm receipt of applications when they are complete.
  • Before our August, 2015 conference call, PSC members will rank their top 5 and bottom 5 applicants based on the rubric to be developed.
  • At our August, 2015 conference call, we will decide which candidates to do initial reference checks on.
  • Initial reference checks should be completed by our September, 2015 conference call.
  • At our Fall 2015 meeting (October, 2015), we will choose people to interview. Interviews will be conducted by video chat that can be recorded so that all PSC members can watch all interviews. We will also do a deeper reference dive on interview finalists (contacting people not on their reference list).
  • Finalists will be asked to submit to a comprehensive background check.
  • January 2016: In-person meeting, possibly to include live interviews with several top finalists, in order to finalize nominations.
  • We will attempt to reach a consensus among committee members on nominating each of the final candidates, using modified consensus process. If that process does not result in at least two nominees, we will vote yes or no on the remaining finalists and nominate any candidate with 5 of 7 yes votes. If we still do not have at least two nominees, we’ll discuss.



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