From WILL - News Headlines -

Champaign Schools Hopes to Hire New Superintendent by December

The Champaign Unit 4 school board expects to begin interviewing candidates for a new superintendent sometime in September.

But the position has yet to be posted, and board member Tom Lockman said that is partly because the district is letting the public to give their input. A search firm has started some informal recruitment, but there have also been more than 300 replies to community surveys on the district's web site. Former superintendent Arthur Culver resigned at the end of June, and Bob Malito is serving in an interim role for 100 days.

But Lockman said the board wants to make they hire someone the community wants, and that is the reason for the public surveys and two search committees involving the public in the process.

"We certainly have our opinions, and a lot of that we draw from what we hear in the community," he said. "But this is such an important part of what we do. I mean, it's the biggest thing that we will do as a board is make a decision on superintendent, and making sure the community is involved in that process."

Lockman said the school board and a search firm have some qualifications in mind, while the surveys highlight some priorities as well.

"There are certainly some themes in there, and certainly some answers that are more popular that others," he said. "And I think as we continue to talk about it, that will become apparent as well. But I think we have anything set specifically - this person has to have this person has to have this many years of experience, or has to have this kind of education. We have specified any of that at this point."

Lockman said most of the input thus far has come from Unit 4 staff, but the district is starting to find some common themes among the surveys.

A tentative timeline calls for the school district to name four to seven finalists by November, with hopes of hiring someone by December.

The new superintendent would start next July.