University narrows search for new leadership position

The University is taking the next step in the search for the University’s vice president and chancellor.

Friday is the application deadline for candidates who wish to be under “full consideration” for the top position at the Urbana-Champaign campus. However, applicants can still submit materials to Issacson, Miller, the search firm hired by the University, after this deadline. Priority in the process will be given to those who have applied before April 15.

The search committee has received “several dozen” applications from both internal and external candidates, said Douglas Beck, committee chair and physics professor. During this process, the firm has assisted the committee in weeding out applications and offering advice.

“They are helping us identify candidates and make contact about those candidates,” Beck said.

Once the pool of candidates has been solidified by the committee, it hopes to meet with applicants during May.

“We expect to be talking with these people who make it to the end of the process several times, starting with informal discussions and then formal interviews,” Beck said.

After these discussions, the committee will suggest a list of names to University President Michael Hogan. He then will submit his decision to the Board of Trustees to be voted upon.

“(The Board of Trustees) have been working toward a timeline of having a new chancellor ideally selected by late spring, early summer,” said Tom Hardy, University spokesman.

If the search is on schedule, the new chancellor would then be expected to start the job at the start of the Fall 2011 semester.

Beck said he hopes a chancellor can be found in the near future, as an interim chancellor is usually more cautious about making long-term decisions.

Interim Chancellor Robert Easter has not considered applying for the full-time position, but said the new chancellor has a lot to look forward to.

“He’ll find a really confident set of campus leaders and faculty that is really interested with the person,” Easter said.

During the year-and-a-half-long process, the search committee has spoken with deans, department heads, prominent faculty members and student organizations about what qualities the next chancellor should possess.

These qualities are highlighted in the white letter, which was released late February announcing the position’s opening.

Beck said the list of qualities in a future leader start with someone who has had “a strong record of scholarship.”

“(Also, the new chancellor) should have had success in leading strong academic programs and (the ability to) attract people to work under them,” Beck added.