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Trustees, presidential search firm lay out timeline for search process

The University of Toledo Board of Trustees approved the formation of a presidential search committee at a special meeting July 25 and asked Board Chairman Joseph Zerbey to identify members and convene the group.

The board also approved the search committee’s charge. The moves by the board are further steps in a timeline that was given additional definition Friday by trustees in consultation with search firm Witt/Kieffer of Oak Brook, Ill.

“The search committee will be representative of the many constituent groups that make UT so special,” Zerbey said. “Serving on the committee will be faculty, staff, students, deans, alumni, donors and community members, and we are working to ensure we have diversity of gender, ethnicity, viewpoint and campus.

“UT’s next president will be responsible for leading a large, complex organization, and we want to be sure as many of those viewpoints as possible have a voice,” he said.

Search Consultants Dennis Barden and Carson Dye told the board they plan to begin informing potential candidates of the opening at UT and start laying the groundwork for active recruitment in mid-August.

In late August and early September, once the entire campus community has returned, UT will hold a series of open forums to solicit feedback from the University community regarding the types of characteristics, qualities and professional experiences desired for the next president.

Barden and Dye said they will use the information obtained by conversations with the board, faculty, staff and students, along with responses provided through the open forums and the presidential search website, to aggressively recruit potential candidates during the fall.

The process will ultimately include two rounds of interviews — nine to 10 semi-finalists that will be interviewed by the search committee, and two to five finalists who will be invited to UT for a campus visit.

Larry Burns, UT vice president for external affairs, will coordinate the campus visits.

“Our plan and our goal is to have each candidate meet with as many campus members as possible, including a number of open forums for UT students, faculty and staff,” Burns said.

Barden estimated that finalists would be interviewing on campus in January with the hope that the board would identify and announce its selection of UT’s 17th president in February.

“The presidency of a public research university is a unique position and the process for selecting her or him must be tailored to that reality,” Barden said. “We’re committed to helping The University of Toledo trustees, faculty, staff and students identify a leader who they believe will elevate this university on the national stage.”

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