Search to Begin for Culver’s Replacement
Arthur Culver has resigned as the Champaign Unit 4 superintendent, and now the focus for the school district is finding his replacement.
Culver's last day will be June 30, 2011. He has served as Unit 4 superintendent for nearly a decade, and publically announced his intention to resign during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
"I really do think that I've run my race, and it's just time to pass that baton," Culver said, who took long pauses to regain his composure. "It's not right to continue to collect a paycheck knowing that I don't have that same passion and fire in the belly that I used to."
Culver said he first started thinking about moving on from the Champaign School District last summer. Just until this week, he was on the shortlist for the top job in the DeKalb County school system in Georgia, but withdrew his name as a finalist.
"When I look at the recent events surrounding that search, I just felt it was in my best interest to remove myself and withdraw," Culver said. "I'm sure at some point they will discover a great superintendent that will lead them through their troubled waters."
Culver wouldn't give specifics about other professional opportunities he is interested in pursuing, but didn't rule out staying in Champaign County.
Champaign School Board President Dave Tomlinson touted Culver's achievements during his tenure, including a successful end to the district's Consent Decree, bringing up achievement levels for students of all races, three years of having a budget surplus, and a high school graduation rate that went from just below 90-percent to nearly 96-percent.
Tomlinson said the search process for the next superintendent will begin as early as Thursday, April 28, and that an interim superintendent will be named by July 1st. Tomlinson said while there are currently six people within the school district who are qualified for the job, a national search will take place to find the next superintendent.
"We have no one in mind at this point," Tomlinson said. "That will be a process of an unknown length."
Culver said he will be part of the transition process. He added that he hopes the next superintendent makes cutting down on disciplinary problems among students a priority.
There will be a series of public forums in the coming months to gather community input about the search. Anyone interested in being part of the search team should send an e-mail with their interests and qualifications to U4BOE@ChampaignSchools.org.
(Photo by Sean Powers/WILL)