The Eastern Illinois University Presidential Search Advisory Committee met today to hone a document that will guide the remainder of the search process.
The committee offered finishing touches to the position profile and advertisement prepared by Elaine Hairston, a consultant with the search firm Academic Search Inc.
Hairston was hired earlier this year by the EIU Board of Trustees as a consultant for a national search to replace President Lou Hencken, who is to retire in June. Hairston’s role is to guide the committee through the search process and to help attract qualified candidates.
During her Nov. 8-9 visit to campus, Hairston met with various university and community constituencies to gather information about the university and what it’s looking for in a president.
She used that information to compile the position profile, which outlines the university’s opportunities and challenges.
“I felt for the short time she’s been on campus, she did an excellent job of reading us,” said Robert Webb, a BOT member who serves as chairman of the search committee.
Hairston plans to immediately modify the documents using suggestions from the committee, and then advertise the position in higher education publications that should be distributed as soon as Dec. 4.
Committee members are to start reviewing applicants’ materials on their own around Jan. 22, and then meet Jan. 31 to start narrowing the field of candidates.
Hairston expects that the committee will be able to interview a short list of candidates in late February, before inviting an anticipated three or four candidates for campus visits.
A new president could be named by mid-April, Hairston said.
Hairston plans to keep the entire university community informed of the search progress through a Web site that will include the position profile, advertisement and reports on search committee meetings.
“We are embarking on an exciting and very important process,” Hairston said. “But it isn’t just a process. It’s an opportunity for the university to think about its future. A search for a new president is a search for the future of the university.”