The University of Wisconsin’s search for a new chancellor officially kicked off Tuesday when the committee charged with finding a new leader for the university posted the position opening online.

The Chancellor Search and Screen Committee will begin to accept applications and nominations for the position of chancellor, and the hiring process will take into account such qualifications in candidates as a strong commitment to the university, its students and public service in addition to academic success and leadership qualities, the UW job post said.

According to committee chair and UW history professor David McDonald, the community forums proved helpful in framing the committee’s interpretation of the position description mandate.

“They’ve been helpful through all of [the process] in the ways that we expected-in giving us perspectives that we might not have otherwise encountered in our day to day involvement with the university,” McDonald said. 

According to McDonald, the community meetings helped shape the focus of the job posting, adding there was wide concern about a candidate’s ability to address affordable, high quality undergraduate education, as well as maintaining the high profile, world-class scientific research image. 

McDonald also said the posting specifically emphasizes the new chancellor’s interpretation of the Wisconsin Idea. It would be ideal for candidates to be very involved on strengthening ties to the state, but also be able to connect in a larger global sense, McDonald said. 

“The chancellor will need to be very involved with external relations, both in terms of representing the legislature to the community of Madison and also in Washington, federally,” McDonald said. 

According to McDonald, the meetings have displayed a general interest in ensuring the new chancellor maintains a strong relationship with the community. 

The posting specified that inquiries regarding the position should be directed to the consultant search firm Storbeck/Pimentel and Associates, which the university hired to aid in the chancellor search and screen process.

According to UW System spokesperson David Giroux, the Board of Regents has been keeping in regular contract with McDonald and Storbeck/Pimentel and Associates through Donald Mash, the board’s representative on the search and screen committee.

“We have an individual on the search committee, one person representing the interest of the UW System and President [Kevin] Reilly, and that person is in fact a former UW chancellor and university president,” Giroux said. 

All applications must be received by Dec. 21, according to the post. The position is set to be filled by July 1, 2013.