University of Louisville trustees to include more people in conf - WDRB 41 Louisville News

University of Louisville trustees to include more people in confidential search for next president

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Grawemeyer Hall at the University of Louisville Grawemeyer Hall at the University of Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  The University of Louisville board of trustees will allow a small group of people on campus to meet the two or three finalists for the university’s next president, but only after signing confidentiality agreements.

The new policy, laid out by trustee Bonita Black at a board meeting Thursday, is meant to placate faculty, student and staff groups who have denounced the board’s intent not to publicly reveal finalists for the position, which is expected to be filled next year.

The eight “constituency” representatives – drawn from students, faculty, staff and deans – would get to meet and question the finalists separately from the 13-person board of trustees. The trustees will decide who gets the job, but the campus representatives will provide input.

“We will take their reactions and their observations into account," trustees chairman David Grissom said.

Susan Jarosi, a professor of women’s and gender studies and the co-chairwoman of the faculty’s presidential search consultation committee, called the move a “positive development.”

She’s still concerned, however, with the board’s plan not to require the finalists for the job to visit campus.

Grissom said the finalists will have the option to participate in "open forums" with faculty, staff and students, but some may not want to publicly identify themselves.

“If we can find a sitting president who wants to have his identity protected during the search process, and we think he or she is the best candidate, it's done all the time," Grissom told reporters following the meeting. "...We don’t want the next president to be looking for a job. We want somebody who we have to attract to this place and feel challenged by the opportunities here."

But Jarosi said campus visits are typical for people who want to lead universities and the preference of the overwhelming majority of faculty, staff and students.

U of L has been without a permanent president since July 2016, when James Ramsey resigned under pressure after 14 years leading the university.

Grissom said his goal is to name the next leader by June 1. 

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822,, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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