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ERIC Number: EJ902702
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6439
Superintendent Searches: Public or Confidential? Why Confidentiality Contributes to Quality Searches
Attea, William J.
School Administrator, v67 n9 p18-25 Oct 2010
When a highly qualified candidate learns the search will be conducted confidentially, a positive response is almost certain, in the author's experience running superintendent searches since 1988. Just as likely, the prospective candidate responds negatively to being told the search process will not be confidential. Confidentiality is the item of highest priority to candidates who are highly successful and well regarded in their current positions. Superintendents are public officials who probably work in the most visible fish bowl in American society. They cannot afford to expose an Achilles' heel and hope to remain successful as a dynamic leader in this complex role. Hence, the need for confidentiality. Unfortunately, laws in many states do not permit confidential searches. As board chair of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, an executive search firm, the author believes that one can assemble slates with more highly qualified candidates in states that permit confidential searches than states that do not. The firm believes that state laws that permit no confidentiality or limit confidentiality diminish the quality of executive leadership that can be secured for educating children in those places. In this article, the author discusses the importance of confidentiality and explains why confidentiality contributes to quality searches. He cites a situation that occurred in Oregon which illustrates this vividly.
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oregon