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Last modified: Friday, August 18, 2006

IU Trustee Sue Talbot comments on presidential search

August 18, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS -- Trustee Sue Talbot, chair of the presidential search committee, issued the following progress report during today's Board of Trustees meeting at IUPUI:

It's been a very busy summer for the Board of Trustees, and I'm pleased to bring you this update on the search for our next president.

First, I would like to announce the appointment of a search consultant. We have selected Shelly W. Storbeck of Edward W. Kelly & Partners. Some of you may be more familiar with the name A.T. Kearney. Effective July 17, A.T. Kearney became Edward W. Kelley & Partners Limited. The firm encompasses the former A.T. Kearney Executive Search business, with the addition of senior talent and new offices around the globe.

Shelly is vice president and managing director of the education practice, which she founded 18 years ago. She has extensive experience in presidential searches at AAU institutions, including Michigan, North Carolina, Rice and three of the UC campuses, Berkeley, Santa Cruz and Irvine. She's no stranger to IU, either, having conducted the searches for IUPUI's chancellor, executive vice chancellor and dean of the faculty, and the dean of the School of Liberal Arts.

I believe that a strong search consultant adds immeasurably to the quality of the search. It is the consultant's business to know outstanding leaders on a first-name basis, and to understand who among them would be a good fit for Indiana University. As we have said many times before, the next president is probably not seeking a change of position and may not learn of the vacancy until we approach him or her. Such a candidate most certainly will not want publicity as to his or her possible candidacy and will want to keep a low profile. But Shelly can approach such candidates confidentially and begin to engage them in conversation.

Additionally, Shelly and her colleagues will enable us to accomplish one of our most important goals: the recruiting of a truly diverse pool of candidates. We have directed her to bring to us names from within Indiana University, the State of Indiana, the nation, and from around the world and to affirmatively to seek women and minorities as applicants.

I believe we have a proven winner in Shelly Storbeck and Edward Kelly and we're looking forward to getting started.

Next, I'm pleased to announce the appointment of the final member of the Presidential Search Committee, the student representative. At a meeting earlier this month, the All University Student Association named Michael Renfrow, the student body president at IU South Bend, its representative. Mike, who is assisting with new-student orientation at IUSB today, is a senior, and a welcome addition to the committee.

The Presidential Search Committee will hold its first meeting on Wednesday morning, September 13, in the conference center at IUPUI. Shelly Storbeck will attend that session, which will focus on the process that the committee will use in identifying our 18th president. The Faculty Advisory Committee will also participate in that meeting.

The board appointed the advisory committee to ensure faculty input in the search. Likewise, trustees are eager to hear from the entire IU family and all of our constituents. To that end, I am pleased to announce the following two points:

In coming weeks, the board will send to every member of the faculty and staff a letter soliciting their comments and recommendations about the critical issues and opportunities facing IU, and asking for their thoughts on the search. The IU Alumni Association is helping us circulate similar letters to alumni around the world.

Members of the board also are meeting with IU students, faculty and staff, as well as our many constituents all around the state. In the previous presidential search, trustees convened dozens of special forums to hear the comments of scores of constituents. For this search, when possible, we would like to take advantage of meetings that have already been scheduled to solicit the opinions of the IU family. You will be hearing more about those meetings in coming weeks. If you would like to meet with one of us to talk about the search, please contact the board office.

Finally, we are developing a website devoted to the search, which will "go live" in early September. I urge you all to check it regularly for updates.