Formation of administrative search committees begins

By Lesley Rogers

Search committees are being formed this week to find someone to fill the positions of provost and vice president of Alumni Development and Relations.

At last week’s Faculty Senate meeting, NIU President John La Tourette announced his decision for an external, or national search to fill the office of provost.

La Tourette also decided, after controversy erupted from FS members, to have an internal search to fill the office of vice president of Alumni Development and Relations.

“We are in the process of compiling that committee as it is specified in the Bylaws,” said Curtiss Behrens, president of the Faculty Senate. “We have contacted those responsible constituencies and we are finalizing the committee this week.”

The search committee for provost will participate in all the aspects of the selection process, including the development of the job description, preparation and dissemination of position announcements, candidate screening and interviewing and determination of the final list of candidates acceptable for appointment to the position.

Behrens said the process is similar to other searches to fill vacant offices. “The committee will screen candidates in terms of an external search, there will be a campus interviewing process and the committee will forward a minimum of two names to the supervisor they would report to,” he said.

The search committee for provost is stated in the NIU Constitution and Bylaws. The committee must consist of a faculty member elected by each college council or college faculty if there is no college council, a department chair elected by and from the department chairs in the university, a representative of the supportive professional staff, a representative of the operating staff, two undergraduate students and one graduate or law student, each from a different college, selected by the president of the Student Association, and the president of the university, who will serve as chair.

The vice president of Alumni Development and Relations position will be filled by a generic search committee request stated in the Bylaws. “There is no Bylaw that deals with development, so the committee will be comprised of the major areas of the office expected to be filled,” Behrens said.

Behrens said he expects La Tourette to bring a proposal about the internal search committee to the University Council meeting on Wednesday.

The amount of time the committees will need to advertise and review candidates differs with the type of search, Behrens said.

“There is a different time frame because one is an internal search and can be done more quickly than an external search,” Behrens said.

La Tourette stressed at the FS meeting the importance of quickly filling the positions. Behrens said the search committee for provost will be finalized by the end of the week, so publicity can be done in November, with a deadline in early spring. “It can be done on that kind of a time frame,” Behrens said.