Open forums will be held on each of the campuses during December to gather input from constituents about the type of person they would like to see as the university's 17th president.
When the UI Board of Trustees met Nov. 12 in Springfield, the board appointed a 19-member search committee to assist in selecting the next president, and appointed Trustee Pamela Strobel as chair. May Berenbaum, a Swanlund Professor and head of the department of entomology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Urbana, was named vice chair.
"We are going to solicit many inputs on the type of person we want leading the university," Strobel said about the December forums when the committee met for the first time Nov. 16. "We really want to be open and transparent."
The committee discussed the search process as well as the qualifications desired in the ideal candidate. In addition to outstanding communication skills and substantial experience at a public university, candidates should have demonstrated experience supporting diversity initiatives, the ability to develop strategic financial plans to address gaps in state funding, a commitment to fundraising, be supportive of shared governance and be responsive to faculty members' needs, according to committee members.
Stanley Ikenberry, who is interim president designate and who served as the university's president for 16 years, mentioned the abilities to manage a large complex organization and handle crises. "The whole enterprise is grounded in integrity and lives on trust," Ikenberry said.
Committee members were reminded of the importance of confidentiality during and after the search.
"The most frequent reason we lose candidates is because their names were leaked," said Michael Baer, a representative of the national executive search firm Isaacson, Miller, which is assisting the committee with the search.
Isaacson, Miller representatives visited the three campuses Nov. 15-17 to gather information for a position profile about the UI that will be given to prospective candidates and used to guide interviews. In addition to extensive information about the university, the profile will include the qualities and credentials sought in candidates, as well as the expectations of the next president's administration.
The committee tentatively scheduled its next meeting for Dec. 2, when it will review the first draft of the profile. Baer said that Isaacson, Miller wants to begin networking to identify potential candidates immediately thereafter.
It typically takes six weeks to find candidates, gather information about them and get them into the search, Baer said.
When the committee has conducted interviews and narrowed the field of candidates, it will present a list of eight to 10 names to the board. The committee hopes to announce the appointment in May, or before the fall 2010 semester begins.
Search Committee to assist in selecting the president
- Trustees: Karen Hasara, Pamela Strobel*, Carlos Tortolero
- Faculty members, UIC: Brian Kay, Mary Beth Rose, Jesus Ramirez-Valles
- Faculty members, UIS: James Patrick Hall, Tih-Fen Ting
- Faculty members, Urbana: May Berenbaum**, Ollie Watts Davis, Matthew Wheeler
- Administrative Officer: Joseph Flaherty (UIC College of Medicine)
- Academic Professional: Marelet Kirda (UIC)
- Civil Service Staff Member: Paula Adametz Hays (Urbana)
- Students: Anushka Anand (UIC), Charles Olivier (UIS), Perzavia Praylow (Urbana)
- Alumni Association: Gery Chico
- UI Foundation: Jane Phillips Donaldson