More than two weeks after a local consulting firm began its national search to replace retiring BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight, between 10 and 20 hopefuls have applied for the position, which will pay anywhere from $150,000 to $217,350.
Emergent Method Director of Human Resources Leslie Austin, who is heading the search process, says the position was first advertised Oct. 1 on the BREC website and with the National Recreation and Park Association. Applications will be accepted through Nov. 2.
Emergent Method is also actively recruiting candidates from around the country.
“We have some great applicants so far,” Austin says. “They’ve come from everywhere. We’ve very pleased with the response.”
Austin says her firm has been screening and vetting the applications as they come in. Once the application period closes, they will begin Skype interviews with the candidates they feel are potential good fits for the position. By mid- to late-November they hope to have a “number of incredibly high-quality candidates to bring to Baton Rouge for interviews.”
McKnight announced in August she would retire at the end of the year when her contract expires, taking many by surprise. She said at the time her retirement was not related to controversy surrounding her failed attempt earlier this year to relocate the BREC Baton Rouge Zoo.
Austin and her colleague John Snow say they don’t think the controversy surrounding the zoo and its subsequent loss of national accreditation has hampered their ability to recruit qualified candidates to run the organization.
“Based on the caliber we’ve seen and the quality of candidates, BREC is well positioned to attract qualified applicants,” Snow says.
Austin and Snow will brief BREC’s search committee Friday on their progress so far. The search committee comprises BREC commissioners Sheldon Dixon, Lloyd Benson, Larry Selders and Sandra Davis, and former BREC commissioner Betsy Baker Miller.
The search committee meets at noon in room 1801 at BREC headquarters, 6201 Florida Blvd.