Candidates for UI president reviewed by Board of Trustees for first time

By Daily Illini Staff Report

The Presidential Search Committee met with the Board of Trustees in a special, day-long meeting Tuesday in Chicago to interview candidates for the next president of the University.

Douglas Beck, co-chair of the committee and professor in physics, said he felt positive that the candidates reviewed have the qualities he is looking for in the next president.

“I think that we are looking for a president who is going to be more of a outward facing role,” he said. “Each of the candidates displayed those kinds of qualities today in different ways, but I think they all did well.”

Beck said the interviews were part of ongoing conversations between the board, the committee and the candidates.

Tuesday’s meeting, held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare hotel, marked the entry of trustees into the selection process, a sign that the number of candidates is narrowing. Beck said he believes the board responded positively to the discussion with candidates.

He declined to comment on the number of candidates currently under consideration or when the board is expected to vote on its recommendations.

Previously, he said the committee hopes to forward its recommendations before Thanksgiving.  

“As part of this process we are trying to have a number of discussions with these candidates in different forums and trying to figure out whether there is a good fit or not on both sides: for us or for the people we are talking with,” Beck said.