The committee, which met for the first time Thursday, will recommend three candidates to UNC President Tom Ross, who will select one name to pass along to the system's Board of Governors.
"What you have to do is try to balance openness and transparency with the need to attract the best and the brightest to the job," Ross said, after addressing the UNCW committee. "And I think …the most important thing is to get the best leader for the institution. That will serve the community the best in the long run."
Ross told the committee that an open search would keep some good candidates from applying.
Wendy Murphy, who led the UNCW Board of Trustees as former Chancellor Gary Miller publicly interviewed for other jobs earlier this year, said the committee should keep the list of candidates private.
"Individuals should be able to look for other opportunities without it being on the nightly news," she said.
While Miller never specified a reason for his departure, his resignation came amid controversy surrounding the university's decision to suspend a fraternity that had ties to the Board of Trustees and Gov. Pat McCrory's office.
In May, a group of community leaders placed a full-page ad in local newspapers in support of the embattled chancellor.
Ross said he doesn't think the attention surrounding Miller's departure will hurt the university's chances of attracting good candidates.
"That's months past now and I think most people have moved on, and I think in the national perspective, UNC Wilmington is a very, very good opportunity," he said.
Officials plan for the new chancellor to start work no later than July 2015.
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