By Owen Woods |

THE Adams State University Board of Trustees and search committee co-chairs have decided to allow interim president David Tandberg to apply as a candidate – if he chooses to do so. When Tandberg was named interim, it was stipulated that he would not be considered a candidate for the permanent position as ASU’s 12th president. At this time, Tandberg has not announced his candidacy. 

Search committee co-chair Mark Martinez said during the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, “We have decided to go ahead and allow Interim President David Tandberg as a candidate. We feel that that’s going to be the best course of action going forward to really nail this search.”

Martinez said that the initial decision to keep Tandberg out of the running, was “made in terms of past experiences.” He later explained that communicating the interim position as disqualified for the permanent position was a “safety net.” 

“Coming off of a previous experience with a previous president, we felt that it was appropriate to include that. Steps are being made throughout this process to sort of, I’ll use the word heal, because I think a lot of people had to kind of heal on campus,” Martinez said. “So we’ve just tried to be cognizant of that, moving forward, and heal and rebuild bridges throughout the process.” 

Martinez went on to say, “At this time we feel as though we would be poorly served to stick to that. It just feels like the appropriate course of action is to let Dr. Tandberg apply, if he chooses.” 

“We really want this search to be successful, we want it to be something the university owns, and owns up to,” Martinez said, “and we want this candidate to be someone that everyone can stand behind on campus and in the Alamosa community, and the region as well. It was a difficult decision, but I think we are going to be best served moving forward, and would be poorly served if we stuck to our guns on sheer principle.” 

The on-campus and community support for Tandberg played a role in that decision. 

Search committee co-chair Jonathan Marquez said that at the start of the search, he and Martinez weren’t considering Tandberg. “We were clean slate, starting the search from the beginning.” 

He said that pretty much from the get-go, though, community members and campus members started reaching out and promoting Tandberg.  “We can’t ignore that this is what the community, the campus was asking for. And I think the discussion and the important one thing to highlight is this decision is to allow David to apply and participate if he chooses, in the process as it exists.” 

Tandberg would have to go through the same process and interviews as the other candidates. The Search and Select Committees will have the final say on whether he moves forward as a finalist.

“I think it’s important to say that this isn’t a decision to give David any sort of advantage above any other candidate,” Marquez said. “But just to allow him to be a participant and a candidate, if he so chooses.”

editors note: This story has been edited from an earlier version to reflect that it was the search committee co-chairs and Board of Trustees that made this decision, not the Presidential Search Committee as a whole.