NIU begins search to fill top positions

By Lesley Rogers

NIU has initiated a national search to fill the position of vice president and provost.

The previous vice president and provost, Kendall Baker, left NIU in July 1992 to accept a president position at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

The provost is the chief academic officer of the university and is in charge of all academic programs, budgets and personnel. Acting Provost J. Carroll Moody has filled the position for two years.

NIU President John La Tourette and the University Council formed a committee this fall to search and review applicants.

Curtiss Behrens, co-chair of the Search Committee for Vice President and Provost, said the committee has met to finalize the position description and to design the advertisement.

NIU advertised the position in the “Chronicle of Higher Education,” “Women’s Review of Books” and “Black Issues in Higher Education,” Behrens said.

“The president wrote close to 1,500 personal letters seeking nominations from campus presidents for potential candidates. He wrote to many women and minority universities so we ensure the diversity of candidates. This is certainly a national search,” Behrens said.

The faculty, staff and students serving on the committee have compiled a list of screening criteria for the candidates, Behrens said.

Some of the qualifications are: the candidate must be a qualified full professor, they must have earned a doctorate, have administrative and leadership experience, and they must have an understanding of the issues currently facing public and higher education.

Behrens said the closing dates for nominations and applications is Jan. 7. All materials, including completed resumes and three letters of recommendation, must be received by Jan. 14.

“We will go through a screening process of applications to identify a smaller pool of applicants to be reviewed more closely. Then a smaller pool will be invited to campus to be interviewed,” Behrens said.

He said the interview process, possibly two days per candidate, will be very extensive. Students also will be allowed to participate in the interview process.

“There are three students on the search committee and the Student Association will be contacted for a time slot to meet with the candidates,” Behrens said.

An open forum where students and faculty can meet the candidates also will be set up during February, he said.

“We, the committee, will forward a minimum of two names to the president, probably in March. The position has to be filled on or before July 1, 1994,” Behrens said.

Although the search is national, the committee will accept nominations and applications from qualified NIU personnel.

“Anybody on campus would have to complete the same application process, along with a resume and three letters of reference,” Behrens said.

Another committee has been formed to fill the position of vice president for development and alumni relations, which has been filled on a temporary basis by Tom Mitchell.

The search is internal, so candidates only will be accepted from within the NIU community.

Behrens, who also serves on the committee, said the application and nomination deadline for the vice president for development and alumni relations is Dec. 15, and all materials are due by Jan. 5.

“The committee has announced and circulated advertisements for the position. Hopefully, it will be filled by the end of the spring semester,” he said.