Senators have until March 21 to vote for faculty members who have been nominated to serve on the U. of I. presidential search committee.
Roy Campbell, the chair of the Senate Executive Committee, announced details of the nomination and election process at the Feb. 10 Urbana Academic Senate meeting. Nominations were accepted through March 13.
"What we're trying to do is find the best candidates to conduct this search," Campbell said.
The U. of I. Board of Trustees announced its intention to form the committee at its March 6 meeting in light of President Bob Easter's scheduled retirement on June 30, 2015. Easter is the university's 19th president.
The 19-member committee is expected to include three faculty members from the Urbana and Chicago campuses, and one from UIS. The committee also will include three students, a civil service member and an academic professional member, one administrative officer and a member each from the U. of I. Alumni Association and U. of I. Foundation.
"Our next president will advance our rich legacy and our commitment to producing the 21st-century workforce and innovation that are the keys to progress and economic growth," said board chairman Christopher Kennedy.
Campbell said the board has asked for six nominees from the Urbana campus, with candidates vetted by the senate's Committee on Committees, voted on by senators in an online election, and then sent to the University Senates Conference for final approval.
Nominations included a biographical statement of no more than 150 words stating faculty appointment information (rank and unit affiliation), years of service, previous appointments, campus/university service and previous search committee experience.
"We encourage nominees from the varied disciplines and who represent the diversity of the campus," Campbell said.
He said the committee positions require a high level of commitment by anyone who volunteers.
"Nominees who are placed on the final slate must be willing to attend search committee-related meetings in the period April to December, including overnight interview meetings near major airports," he said.
The board of trustees also has asked the committee to develop a statement "outlining the structure and mission of the university, the role of the president, challenges and expectations that the new president may face and personal qualifications necessary for the position."
The board has indicated it wants to have the committee formed and active by May, with a goal of hiring a new president by January "to ensure a smooth transition."
Easter said at the Jan. 27 SEC meeting that he would like to see the president's role more clearly defined in the future and that faculty and staff members should be heavily involved in that conversation.
"What should the president go about doing on a daily basis?" is a question that should be answered before a successor is selected. He said he has spent much of his time working with legislators and other state leaders to address issues pertinent to the university.
"There is a need for us to be at the table when there are significant conversations going on through the state," he said. "Not being there takes you out of that."