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With Committee in Place, EIU Presidential Search Ready to Begin

Jun-11-2014

The search for Eastern Illinois University’s next president officially got under way this week as the institution’s Board of Trustees approved the composition of a search advisory committee and the hiring of an outside firm to help with the search process.

Formally known as the EIU Presidential Search Advisory Committee, the 18-member team will be responsible for conducting a national search, identifying finalists and bringing those individuals to the university for on-campus interviews. Open forums will be scheduled so that the broad EIU and Charleston communities can provide input.

Trustees will have the ultimate responsibility of naming a new president once interviews are completed and committee recommendations are reviewed.

Members of the EIU Presidential Search Advisory Committee are: Joseph Dively (committee chair), representing the BOT; Robert Webb, BOT; Rene Hutchinson, BOT; Lauren Price, BOT (student trustee); Dan Nadler, vice president for student affairs; Diane Jackman, dean, College of Education and Professional Studies; Zach Samples, student representative; Reginald Thedford Jr., student body president; Bill Robinson, EIU Foundation; Melissa Gordon, Staff Senate; Christine Edwards, Staff Senate; Steve Daniels, faculty; Ruben Quesada, faculty; Linda Simpson, faculty; Jill Nilsen, annuitant; Timothy McCollum, Alumni Association; Ann Fritz, UPI; Charleston Mayor Larry Rennels, community representative; and Rob Miller, general counsel (non-voting ex officio member).

Assisting the committee in its work will be Korn Ferry, an internationally recognized executive search firm.

“Korn Ferry has built a strong reputation in the area of higher education,” Dively said, noting that EIU would be working with David Mead-Cox, a senior client partner who specializes in higher education.

BOT Chair Kristopher Goetz said that the board “really related” to Korn Ferry during the interview process.

“They detailed the process in a very straightforward way,” he said. “I believe the coupling between the advisory committee, with its knowledge of the university, and the expertise Korn Ferry brings, is a winning combination.”

Dively concurred. “I am delighted to be working with this committee and am confident that with the guidance of Korn Ferry, we will find the right person for the job.”

According to Goetz, the board plans to finalize the “usual paperwork” necessary in contracting with Korn Ferry and to start organizing a timeline that would allow the search committee to begin its work at the start of the Fall 2014 semester.

The need for a search became public when, in March, EIU President Bill Perry announced he will complete his service as president on June 30, 2015, consistent with the ending date of his contract. Perry began serving as EIU president in 2007, moving to Eastern from Texas A&M University where he had served since 1971 in professorial and administrative roles.