NKU Presidential Search Committee framework approved
March 16, 2023
The Presidential Search Committee received unanimous approval from the Board of Regents at their meeting this week for a multiphase operational framework.
The committee is entrusted with conducting a national search to generate a strong pool of candidates for the position of Northern Kentucky University president, and after extensive interviews and research, submitting a list of strong finalists to the Board of Regents.
The team leading the search consists of a search committee and an advisory board. Both are staffed with 30 members from diverse groups and disciplines, including not just NKU administrators, faculty, staff and students but also regional educators and business executives. From a working group assembled at the January Board of the Regents meeting, the committee has been asking for recommendations across campus to ensure that they have diverse representation and plans to meet with NKU students in small groups for their feedback.
“I think student voice is critical in this process,” said Kara Williams, secretary to the Board of Regents and chair of the Presidential Search Committee. “We really hope that we’ll have a lot of students actively participating.”
The committee is very intentional about not creating a strict timeline, Williams said. Historically a search committee would publish a timeline, but the committee has agreed to stick to a phase until exceptional candidates have been found.
“We will not move forward just when we have X number of applicants, or we will not move forward because it’s July 15 and we said on July 15 we’re going to start interviewing,” Williams said, adding that the committee will remain confidential throughout the process while striving to be as inclusive as possible. “We are very committed to the right applicants and the right fit.”
The committee has additionally enlisted the help of WittKiefer, a global executive search and leadership advisory firm, for the national search. Williams quoted Ryan Crawford, a senior partner at WittKieffer, that seven out of 11 Horizon League institutions have announced a search for new presidents since 2022, so the search climate revolves around gathering the largest candidate pool at the outset through confidentiality.
An orientation for the leadership team will take place next week, where members will decide on a meeting schedule. The search process goes through multiple phases, from engagement to recruitment, and might take several months.
“The selection of the next president will be a critical decision for the Board of Regents, I am confident that the search leadership team will oversee a process that brings forth the strongest candidates excited to lead this university. I know that the team will do so with the highest degree of care and responsibility, consistent with shared governance, and the best traditions of this institution,” Board of Regents Chair Rich Boehne shared in a statement.