University of Louisville is hiring for top jobs -- but not the o - WDRB 41 Louisville News

University of Louisville is hiring for top jobs -- but not the one that Postel may want

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Greg Postel, interim president of the University of Louisville, on June 24, 2017 (Frank Stamper, WDRB) Greg Postel, interim president of the University of Louisville, on June 24, 2017 (Frank Stamper, WDRB)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  The University of Louisville could name its next permanent president as soon as June 1.

But interim U of L President Greg Postel isn’t waiting to hire permanent leaders for other top roles at the university.

Last month, for example, Postel said U of L would move forward with finding an athletics director to replace Tom Jurich, who was fired in October after 20 years on the job.

Asked why the next university president shouldn’t pick his or her own athletics director, Postel said U of L has too many vacancies in key roles – from chief financial officer to the deans of nursing and engineering – to put off filling any of them.

“They’re all important positions, so you could have made the case, ‘why not wait until the permanent president is selected so that he or she would not have their hands tied to fill those spots?’” Postel told reporters on Dec. 14. “…The life of the university goes on, and we need good people.”

But there’s one top position the university is in no hurry to fill – the one Postel will likely seek for himself if he is not hired as the permanent president.

Before becoming interim president a year ago, Postel – a medical doctor – was U of L’s interim executive vice president for health affairs, overseeing U of L’s health sciences campus including its schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing and public health.

U of L hasn’t had a permanent health affairs vice president since December 2015, when Dr. David Dunn was sidelined amid an FBI investigation that resulted in no charges. Dunn took a buyout from U of L instead of returning to the job.

Postel, who succeeded Dunn on a temporary basis, remains the interim vice president for health affairs more than two years later. He splits time between U of L’s health campus downtown and its main Belknap campus.

University spokesman John Karman confirmed that U of L is waiting until the next president is hired to start the process of finding a health affairs vice president.

“Dr. Postel is ably filling that role right now,” Karman said in an email.

Karman also confirmed Postel’s interest in the health affairs position, should he not be hired as the permanent president.

When he was installed as interim president on Jan. 21, 2017, Postel said he ultimately expected to return to the health affairs job, although he had not been given the position on a permanent basis.

“I have truly enjoyed my role as executive vice president for health affairs,” Postel said at the time. “… My guess is, I will follow my heart and go back to that.”

Postel would later decide to apply for the presidency, saying he liked the top job more than he anticipated.

The university’s board of trustees will start culling candidates for the presidency after the Feb. 15 application deadline, with an eye toward announcing the successful person this summer.

Trustees chairman David Grissom said Wednesday that hasn't had any discussions about the timing of filling the health affairs job. He declined to comment further.

To be sure, the health affairs vice president is not the only important role that U of L is waiting to fill.

The university will also wait to hire a provost, its No. 2 job, until a permanent president is installed, Karman said.

“The thinking is that a new president would want his or her own provost because of the critical role the provost plays as the university's chief academic officer,” he said.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2018 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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