The hunt for nominees to fill a search and screen committee responsible for working to find a new permanent chancellor for the University of Wisconsin is advancing.
UW System President Kevin Reilly began the search in August, sending letters to the University Committee, Academic Staff Executive Committee, Associated Students of Madison and Interim Chancellor David Ward requesting nominations for a committee consisting of 23 hand-picked individuals.
Ward was appointed interim chancellor after Biddy Martin resigned earlier this summer to lead Amherst College in Massachusetts.
The committee will consist of 12 faculty members, two academic staff members, one classified staff member, one administrator from the Madison campus, another administrator from UW System Administration, one undergraduate UW student, one graduate UW student and four community members, according to a statement from the UW System.
“We’re searching for a combination of people who will not only be strong advocates for the groups they represent but are also able to see the whole institution, everything it does and what qualities a person who can do the job might have,” said UW System spokesperson David Giroux.
The committee’s job will be to find five qualified finalists to pass on to a small group of regents appointed by Regent President Michael Spector, Giroux said.
Once the committee and Reilly confirm the selected finalists are adequate, the search will become public with candidates visiting campus and participating in forums to gain community support. Using this feedback, Reilly and the committee will then make their recommendation to the full Board of Regents for confirmation.
Reilly stressed the entire process was one of shared governance.
“The search and screen committee’s work is to come up with a list of five great finalists,” Reilly said. “We take it from there, utilizing input from the community to ultimately decide which person we want to go after.”
Nominations for the committee are due Sept. 30, and Reilly said he hopes to have a board in place no later than mid-October.
Once appointed, the committee will have to first make a position description involving a strong focus on what qualities a new chancellor must possess. They will then engage a national search firm to help them narrow down possible candidates, after which point they will need to convince each nominee to consider the position.
“A lot of people you want to get for a chancellor position are happy with their current jobs and will have to be persuaded to consider jumping into the pool,” Reilly said.
Associated Students of Madison is currently seeking qualified candidates for the search and screen committee, ASM Chair Allie Gardner said. Student Council is still deliberating to set a process for selecting nominees and will make the final vote during their Sept. 7 meeting. Applications are due the same day.
“It’s a great educational experience for students,” Gardner said. “It’s an opportunity to see different perspectives from people doing different things on campus, as well as give the student’s perspective. It’s definitely our role to make sure this input is given.”