Presidential search discussed with faculty

By Becca Clemons and Taylor Moak

The Presidential Search Committee and the Compensation Subcommittee of the Presidential Search Committee met Monday to discuss aspects of the search.

Committee Chairman Jim Stuckert opened the meeting of the search committee at 8:30 a.m. and quickly read a motion to move the meeting into closed session.

“The committee must go into closed session because open discussion of these candidates would violate their personal privacy rights,” Stuckert said, reading from a script.

The goal was to narrow down the search to one or a few candidates.

Board of Trustees Chairman Britt Brockman said the list had been narrowed to a much smaller field, but he would not say how many finalists remain.

He said the system of confidentiality has become the norm in searches of this kind.

The Compensation Subcommittee met to discuss which factors should be included in the next president’s compensation package, including bonuses, contract renewals, benefits and other considerations.

After reviewing recent articles from the Chronicle of Higher Education about presidential compensation, the committee went into closed session.

Brockman also spoke at the University Senate meeting Monday, updating faculty on the presidential search process and responding to questions.

“It’s an exciting time, and it’s also a historic time,” Brockman said, addressing nearly 100 faculty members.

As there are four faculty members on the search committee, Brockman said there should be no disconnect between the Board and the faculty.

“We’ve only had 12 moments like this in our nearly 150-year history,” Brockman said, emphasizing the importance of the search.

He said the partnership forged between the new president and the faculty will predict UK’s success in the future. He said that  the Top 20 Business Plan was discussed with every candidate interviewed. The academic needs across the entire campus were also an important part of discussion in the interviews.

Brockman said the candidate pool has been diverse in terms of gender, race, ethnicity and breadth of experience, as some were from business and government fields.

Faculty members expressed concerns about dealing with upcoming changes, the system of evaluation for the president and the university’s budget.

In response to a question from a faculty member, Brockman said all remaining candidates have had academic experience as faculty.

“We still have another round of interviews where we can drill down a little further,” Brockman said.

On April 30, the Board of Trustees will begin interviewing finalists in northern Kentucky. Interviews will continue May 1, and the Board hopes to choose a single finalist that day. On May 2, the finalist and his or her spouse will visit the university and participate in forums with faculty, staff and student leaders.

Brockman said an online forum for quick feedback on the finalist is being prepared for that day.

Feedback will be forwarded to the Board for review on May 2 and May 3, where it will be discussed at the May 3 Board meeting. The trustees will then consider a formal offer for the candidate.

More on the UK presidential search