UCSB students, faculty, and staff can meet and interview Cynthia Smith, one of five candidates for the position of Associated Students Executive Director today between 2:30 and 3:15 in the A.S. conference room. There will also be a special session exclusively for undergraduates from 11-12 in the A.S. Main Office.

After sifting through approximately 140 resumes, the Executive Director Search Committee has invited five candidates to UCSB for interviews and campus tours before it makes its recommendation for the new Executive Director. After receiving the committee’s recommendation, A.S. President Brian Hampton and Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs Michael Young will make the final decision.

The executive director is primarily responsible for dealing with the budget and supervising personnel, said Carolyn Buford, the acting executive director.

The search committee is made up of representatives from A.S. Legislative Council, A.S. Executive Officers, staff, the Office of Student Life and A.S. Finance Board, but is not a standing committee because the executive director search does not happen every year.

A similar search occurred last year, but for undisclosed reasons, no one was hired, and so the process is being repeated again this year.

“In this scenario it’s unique because we’ve had this two years in a row,” Internal Vice-President Shaina Walter said.

Committee member Jonathan Kalinski said he was looking for someone approachable and fiscally responsible, “a friendly person you can go and talk to.”

“I’m personally looking for someone who understands the issues and the way in which student opinions are going to differ from that of the administration,” Kalinski said. “They should help students make decisions without telling them what to do.”

Buford encouraged students to come meet the candidates and ask them questions because of the direct involvement the executive director has with undergraduates.

“Associated Students is essential to the quality of the undergraduate experience,” Buford said. “A.S. is a major operation on this campus.”

After the interviews, students will be given evaluation sheets where they can rate the candidates and write comments. Although the committee deliberations are private, Walter said student input would be a part of the decision-making process.

“Last year student input was low, which was disappointing,” she said. “The more student input, the better we are able to make a decision.”

Candidates are coming from across the country, from Oxnard to Florida, to interview for this position. Smith is a budget analyst at UCSB, and is the only interviewee from this campus.

Additional interviews will be held on Feb. 15 and 25, March 4, and tentatively Feb. 22. A final decision should be made during Spring Quarter, and Walter said the start date would depend on the individual’s schedule.

Students wishing to find out more can see the candidates’ resumes at the A.S. Main Office.