BATON ROUGE - The University of New Orleans Presidential Search Committee on Thursday
approved an advertisement, and a tentative timeline that calls for naming the next
campus leader in late February.
It also heard from the executive search firm the University of Louisiana System engaged to actively recruit candidates for the next campus leader.
Today’s meeting was the first for the panel appointed to find a replacement for UNO President Peter Fos, who announced his retirement in August.
According to the tentative timeline, the committee will conduct a public forum at 11 a.m., Monday, Nov. 9, on the UNO campus. The forum, a regular feature of UL System presidential searches, is an opportunity to collect input from the campus community on the qualities they want to see in their next leader, according to UL System President Sandra Woodley, who serves as non-voting search committee chair.
The preferred application deadline is November 30, and the committee will receive recommendations from the executive search firm, Witt/Kieffer, shortly thereafter. It will select semi-finalists December 9 or 10, and semi-finalist interviews are scheduled to take place in public on the UNO campus on January 19-22, 2016. The search committee is charged with recommending at least two candidates to the UL System Board, which is expected to make its decision on February 24.
Although the committee approved a timeline, Woodley said, the focus is on the quality of the applicants. “We will move as expeditiously as we can, but we won’t sacrifice quality. If we need to make adjustments to the timeline, we will,” she said.
Witt/Kieffer representatives visited the UNO campus this week to interview students, faculty and staff, as they begin the search process.
John K. Thornburgh, of Witt/Kieffer, said, given its natural asset of location and other characteristics -- such as a committed faculty and a healthy mix of programs -- he expects the UNO presidency to generate strong candidates. In addition, he said, the best candidate will be a leader who understands UNO’s challenges and embraces them.
“The candidates are not going to be shielded from the realities of the long challenges of the budget and other issues. We’re looking for somebody who will not only be eager to tackle the challenges but who will do so with a sense of optimism, as a champion for UNO," Thornburgh said.
Earlier in the day, in its regular meeting, the Board of Supervisors for the UL System approved the appointment of Randy Moffett as Interim President of UNO. Although currently assisting with UNO’s institutional review, Moffett will officially begin his role as Interim President after the first of the year. Moffett, who retired as president of the UL System in 2014, is the former president of Southeastern Louisiana University.
Voting members of the Presidential Search Committee include UL System board members Maggie Brakeville (student Board member), James Carter of New Orleans, Edward Crawford, III of Shreveport, Pamela Egan of Covington, E. Gerald "T-Boy" Hebert of Kenner, Jimmie "Beau" Martin, Jr. of Cut Off, Mark Romero of Lafayette, Robert Shreve of Baton Rouge, Winfred Sibille of Sunset and Gary Solomon of New Orleans. Also serving as a voting member is UNO Faculty Senate President Cherie Courseault Trumbach.
Serving as advisory, non-voting members are UNO Student Government Association President Joy Ballard, UNO International Alumni Association President Al Herrera, UNO Foundation Chair Barry LeBlanc, UNO Research & Technology Foundation Chair Russell Trahan and UNO Alumnus/Former Speaker of the House Jim Tucker. Woodley serves as non-voting chair.
The System dedicated a page on its website to the search. There, the public can access information about UNO and the region; search committee members; meeting notices; press releases; information about candidates; and meeting videos, when available. In addition, the public can submit comments and questions to the committee by sending an email to UNOPresidentialSearch@la.gov.