Unit Four Board Pres Lays Out Plans for Choosing New Superintendent

May 13, 2011

Champaign School Board President Sue Grey says she doesn't mind if the search for a new school superintendent is a lengthy one.

Grey said the process of finding a permanent successor to replace Arthur Culver could take anywhere from four to nine months, beginning in July. At a news conference Friday, Grey said she wants the search process to be open and transparent, with as much public input as possible.

Toward that end, Grey said the public will be invited to send in comments about what qualities a new superintendent should have --- through the Unit Four website. She also hopes to see a series of informal meetings with community members.

"We hope that we can do this in a relaxed, informal way," Grey said. "Where we can just have conversation and learn from you all, what it is that you feel is in the best interest of the district, as far as what superintendent --- what you would like to see."

Grey said the Unit Four school board will also be taking applications to serve on a search committee to oversee the search for a new superintendent --- the deadline to apply is June 15th. Grey said the board will decide within a month on an interim superintendent to take over when Arthur Culver steps down at the end of June. That person will be someone from outside the district.

Grey said the school board has decided to look at retired superintendents in the area, instead of Unit Four employees who carry the required superintendents' certification. She said putting a current employee into the superintendent's post on a short-term basis would be too disruptive.

"You take that person, and you move them out of the key position that they are serving within the district, and then you have to find someone to plug their hole, and so forth and so on," Grey said. "We felt that it was in the best interests of the district to get a candidate in as an interim that could just help us keep the ship sailing smoothly and on course."

Grey said the Unit Four School Board is reviewing a list --- provided by the Illinois Association of School Boards --- of retired superintendents in the area who would be willing to return to work on an interim basis. She said the school board expects to discuss the issue in executive session on May 16th, and make a choice on an interim superintendent in the first half of June.

The interim superintendent will take over for the departing Arthur Culver on July 1st. Grey said the Champaign school board would then begin its search for someone to take the job on a permanent basis.

Story source: WILL