UM curators meet for six hours about picking new president

1 year 1 week 1 day ago January 13, 2016 Jan 13, 2016 Wednesday, January 13 2016 Wednesday, January 13, 2016 10:25:00 PM CST in News
By: Chris Brown, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri (UM) Board of Curators met at Ellis Library at MU campus for around six hours, talking about how to pick the next UM system president following Tim Wolfe's resignation last November. Most of the meeting took place during a closed session. 

Pamela Henrickson, a UM Board member, said the board discussed the timeline of the process for selecting the next president. 

"We were looking at the presidential search very similarly" Henrickson said. "Not that we all agree on every single point, but we have the same opinions, the same attitude, the same dedication to finding the next president of the University of Missouri." 

Henrickson said everyone on the board knows picking the next president is its most important job. She said they talked a lot about inclusion and how to include various constituencies: students, faculty, staff, alumni, retirees, members of the public, so they all feel like they have a voice in the process. 

"That was one of the primary things we wanted to do is to lay that all out," Henrickson said. 

The board touched on the subject of an open versus closed search for the next system president in regards to potential candidates. 

"Everyone who sends a resume, their names and qualifications are known to the public," Henrickson said. "From the public's viewpoint, that has some appeal. They'd like to participate in the process. From the candidate's viewpoint, not so much. Because, people are employed. They don't want their employer to know they're searching for another job, issues like that. Those are issues that have to be balanced and weighed." 

Henrickson said, to her knowledge, UM has not done an open search while looking for any new administrative position.

Henrickson also commented about lawmakers recently calling for MU communications Professor Melissa Click to be fired. 

"Lawmakers like to express their opinions," Henrickson said. "And, we like to listen to what they have to say." 

Henrickson said the process of hiring the next system president will be similar to how former president Tim Wolfe was hired, but some adjustments will be made.

"This will involve a lot of people," Henrickson said. "So, we want to proceed as efficiently as possible."

The board discussed debate whether they were looking for a business person or an academic person for the next president.

"There are people who have strong opinions it should be a business man. It's people that have strong opinion it should be an academic," Henrickson said. "And, I don't... I think the board is open-minded and wants to choose the best candidate, and we don't know who that will be at this point." 

While MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley continues to serve as temporary chancellor for the University of Missouri-Columbia, Henrickson said she doesn't believe an interim chancellor in Columbia will delay the presidential search in any way. 

The board announced an upcoming meeting in three weeks, close to early February. Henrickson said they will make some more decisions in that time. 

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