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A second national search is about to begin for the top spot at Aurora facility after first search was terminated.

The search for a new director for the North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora has been extended.

The candidate who was interviewed remotely (by Zoom) was not offered the NWREC position. Instead, the search was terminated and Oregon State University is preparing to launch a second national search later this summer.

FILE PHOTO - North Willamette Research and Extension Center Director Mike Bondi will stay on as director in Aurora while Oregon State University conducts a second national search for a new director.

"We are clearly disappointed that we need to start over. But, we do want to be careful and get the very best person possible for the leadership of NWREC. This is one of our largest research centers, has a large faculty with diverse programs and needs, and has a huge interface with the Portland metropolitan and public communities we serve," said Staci Simonich, College of Agricultural Sciences executive dean. "Our earlier search began last December and January and that was a difficult time to advertise with a lot of uncertainty across the country and unknowns about the COVID-19 vaccine situation. We expect to be in a better place with a later summer recruiting and attracting a larger group of experienced candidates at this time."

The search committee is reviewing the position description for possible changes before re-advertising. Also, the recruitment strategy is being reviewed before going back out. The goal is to begin advertising on Aug. 1, close on Sept. 15, interview top candidates in late September and October with a hiring recommendation by early November.

Current NWREC Director Mike Bondi has agreed to stay on as director until the new director is hired.

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