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The Central Washington University Board of Trustees switched gears in its presidential search, opting to continue with the work being done by its search advisory committee instead of creating an official search committee.

The board voted Monday to let the advisory committee continue its listening sessions, work with the executive search firm in the initial winnowing process and come to the board of trustees with a list of final candidates for consideration.

“One of my thoughts is if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” said board of trustees chair Ron Erickson. “It seems to me we have a great committee.”

Originally, the advisory committee’s role was to only host listening sessions, while a different search committee would work with the firm and narrow down candidates.

Washington state assistant attorney general Alan Smith said this new plan works better with the board’s desire for a closed search, keeping the names of potential candidates private. As long as the recommendations are not binding and the board of trustees reserves final authority to make those decisions, the advisory committee is not subject to the Open Public Meetings Act.

“The trustees are still the search committee and this group is still technically the advisory committee,” trustee and search advisory committee co-chair Robert Nellams said.

The committee is chaired by trustee Erin Black, and co-chaired by Nellams and trustee Jeffrey Hensler.

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