U of I Board Focuses on Finding a New Permanent President
With Stanley Ikenberry selected to step in as interim president, the University Of Illinois Board Of Trustees is going ahead with a search for a permanent president to succeed Joseph White.
At their special meeting Saturday in Urbana , the Board approved the structure for a search committee. The panel has seats reserved for every sector of the university community --- faculty, staff, students, alumni and the university's foundation. And interim president designate Stanley Ikenberry says something new has been added that makes this U of I search committee different from ones in the past.
"And that is the recommendation in this case that three trustees join that search committee. I think personally that is a very wise move, given where we are at this point --- and I think will be an important factor in helping us attract first-rate candidates."
The committee will spend the next several months conducting a national search for a new president.
U of I Board Chairman Chris Kennedy says he wasn't worried that October might be a little late in the year to be able to find a strong candidate for the job.
"I don't think in fact that we're behind the eight ball at all. I think that we should have great confidence that we can find the best candidate. I think this university represents the best option for career change for anybody in the educational environment in America today. And I'm confident we'll end up with the best person in American to run the University of Illinois."
That confidence was echoed by the representative of the executive search firm that will help the search committee in its work. Michael Baer of Boston-based Isaacson Miller says the prime season for recruiting university presidents is just beginning. But he notes that other major universities are also conducting presidential searches --- including the University of Virginia, Texas A & M and North Carolina State.
U of I trustees hope to select a permanent president by next May, in order for that person to be on the job in time for the start of the next fall semester.