La Tourette initiates search for positions

By Peter Schuh

NIU President John La Tourette initiated the search Wednesday to find NIU a permanent provost and vice president of academic affairs.

However, La Tourette failed to mention whether the search will be internal or external.

In a letter to NIU’s executive and administrative cabinet members La Tourette announced that Curtiss Behrens, University Council executive secretary will vice chair the committee.

“He is very familiar with this role, having served years ago at my request as vice chair of the search committee for the vice president for business and operations,” La Tourette stated in the letter.

According to article 17.31 of the University Bylaws, La Tourette himself will serve as the chair of the committee.

La Tourette also stated that he would inform the community as to the nature of the search (whether external or internal) by Oct. 6.

The Faculty Senate’s next meeting is Oct. 6. However, Behrens said he was uncertain whether there was any connection between these dates.

“Obviously, no matter what decision he makes it is necessary for either an external or internal search to begin shortly,” Behrens added.

Long debate and an FS resolution were the result of La Tourette’s announcement of the internal search at last month’s FS meeting.

La Tourette’s letter came four weeks after he announced he intended to pursue an internal search in his Aug. 30 letter to the faculty. La Tourette said he would pursue an internal search unless he received a compelling reason for a national search in two weeks.

In addition, La Tourette said—via his secretary—that a similar committee would be established in the next few days to conduct the search for NIU’s position of vice president for development and alumni relations.

The search committee for the provost will consist of representatives from across the campus, including one faculty member elected by each college council, a department chair elected by all university chairs and three students appointed by the Student Association president.

La Tourette stated, “The various councils and appointing bodies or offices have been requested to complete the process by Oct. 11.”

“Obviously, no matter what decision he makes it is necessary for either an external or internal search to begin shortly.”