According to the street committee, if the intent of Muscogee County School District Superintendent Dr. David Lewis was to replace the Muscogee County School District’s Director of Communications & Open Records Officer position with the best possible candidate, you couldn’t tell it by the interviewing process. The position, which was recently vacated by Valerie Fuller, serves as the one clear voice and spokesperson for the school system. It has been no secret that The Street Committee has been a staunch supporter of the superintendent, but when his representative contacts a potential candidate leaving the following voice message at 6:06 pm on a Friday night: “Hi…. My name is XXXX XXXX. I’m calling from human resources at Muscogee County School District. Um’ I’m calling in reference to the application you had submitted for the director of communications position we have posted – wanted to let you know that um’ the superintendent would like to invite you to interview for that position. He’s holding interviews on Friday, October 20. Um’ I will confirm a time with you. Um’ if you’re still interested, give me a call back at…and we will confirm a time for Friday the 20th. Thank you and have a great evening.”
Really? For a position as important as the Communications Director, you leave a voice mail on a Friday night at 6:06 pm? C’MON MAN! When the candidate responds the following Monday that she is definitely interested; however, she has a previous engagement out of town the day of the scheduled interviews that had been planned for at least a year, and it can’t be rescheduled, she is told that unfortunately, that is the only day available for interviews, AND because it was a panel interview, it would be too much to ask the panelists to come back a second day. Really? You mean to tell The Street Committee and the people of Muscogee County that for a position as important as the Communications Director of the 11th largest school District in the state, it was not important enough for you to have two days of interviews to insure that the panel had an opportunity to interview the best candidates? C’MON MAN!
Obviously, the individual was one of the better applicants or you wouldn’t have wasted your time contacting her. For a position as important as the Communications Director of the school district, especially given the issues that the district is currently dealing with, it is hard to believe that the committee wouldn’t welcome the opportunity to meet with any and every candidate you recommended, regardless of how many days they were asked to meet. Not to mention the individual is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and has 30 years experience with expertise in public relations/communications strategy and marketing. Not to mention the individual has extensive experience in corporate communications, crisis communication, corporate speech writing and strategy planning. Not to mention the individual has served as an adjunct faculty member for four colleges as an instructor in the College of Arts & Humanities with an emphasis on communications and social media’s impact on society. Because the individual wasn’t afforded that opportunity, there is only one thing we can surmise — you ALREADY had in mind who you wanted for the position. The fact that the individual was contacted by phone on a Friday night at 6:06 pm seems more as an after thought than as a sincere offer for an interview, and it was disrespectful. C’MON Dr. Lewis, The Street Committee thought you were better than that. You just lost major cool points with us.