The introduction of a third applicant has delayed the decision-making process in the search for the new director of transportation services.
Two applicants were invited to campus for a day of interviews with various campus officials, according to interim director of transportation services Nancy Nusbaum. The third applicant to come forward is Virginia Griffin, interim director of transportation services at the University of North Texas. Griffin visited Texas State March 6 for interviews.
Nusbaum said Griffin had the same interview process as the first two applicants. The same basic questions and feedback forms were used during the open interview session.
The position was posted last November, categorized as “open until filled.” Nusbaum said she was going to close the position after the second set of initial interviews on Feb 20. She decided against it, however, after seeing four more applicants.
“I still had to consider their applications, even though it was so late in the game,” Nusbaum said. “Out of those four, only one met the qualifications that we had set. We followed the matrix that was laid out to determine if someone was qualified, the same matrix that the other two applicants met.”
Griffin said she didn’t apply for the position until recently because she wanted a permanent transportation director to be chosen at UNT. Griffin said she didn’t want to leave her staff “high and dry” with a new director.
A friend later mentioned to Griffin the position at Texas State was still open, she said.
“I just dismissed it,” Griffin said. “I wanted to do it, knew it was a fabulous opportunity, but it just didn’t seem like something that would be realistic. When I heard that the position was still open, and the new director at UNT had settled in, it almost felt like it was meant to be.”
Griffin was the associate director for transportation services at Western Kentucky University for five and half years, and became the associate director for UNT in 2011. She served as interim director for transportation at UNT for the past 10 months, after Joe Richmond, Texas State’s outgoing transportation director, left the school for Bobcat country.
Griffin said during her open presentation her experience at WKU would be beneficial to Texas State. The department at WKU had to take the hilly terrain into account, instead of using a plain grid system modeled for flat campuses.
Griffin said she would focus on getting ready for the upcoming school year and applying the changes already made if offered the position. She will prepare for the changes being put into effect and observe to “learn how things are done” at Texas State.
“I’m not going to rush into any major decisions,” Griffin said. “The increase in permit fees and changes in the bus routes is a done deal, and that’s probably enough change for one summer.”
Nusbaum said her selection of the new director has been pushed back, but it will not affect when the new director will begin working. The paperwork will still be filed through various campus offices, and the chosen applicant will have to give the previous employer notice about the position.
The new director’s starting date will remain the same, despite the pushing back of Nusbaum’s selection.
John Root, director of auxiliary services, said this is a good time to bring on the new director.
Root said there will be enough observation time and a chance to plan for the fall semester—when transportation is the most chaotic—if the new director starts by the summer.
“We need someone who can appreciate the challenges that are ahead of us,” Root said. “But they get the right person, and they can smooth things out and make it a good transition.”