Campus News

Search committee for UGA’s next president holds its first meeting

The University of Georgia Presidential Search Committee held its first meeting July 24 at the Richard B. Russell Building for Special Collections Libraries.

Hank Huckaby, chancellor of the University System of Georgia, charged the committee with identifying three to five candidates to send forward to him and the board of regents. Current plans call for the job announcement to be -perfected within a few days of the first meeting so that the committee can move forward in its work.

The meeting was attended by 19 of the 21 committee members who each gave a brief statement on what they were looking for in the next president. Vision and integrity came up often.

Will Burgess, Student Government Association president, polled students who said they want a president who is a problem solver and accessible.

Jerry Daniel, chair of Staff Council, polled staff who said UGA’s next president needs to be a politically savvy fundraiser and consensus builder who values faculty, staff, students and administrators and the university’s land-grant mission. The new president also needs to be a visionary and do more with distance and online education. 

Bill Funk of R. William Funk and Associates, the consulting firm retained to provide executive search consulting services, asked the committee to come up with 20 names to “charge the candidate pool.” He said the first 12 weeks of the search should be spent developing the pool of 30-50 candidates and putting the infrastructure of the search in place. 

The search firm, which has done presidential searches for Georgia Tech and Purdue, will send letters to 600 leaders in higher education asking for nominations and also will contact higher education associations for their suggestions. Job announcements also will be placed in several publications including The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The committee will meet again in mid-September to begin reviewing candidates. It is anticipated that future meetings will be held in Atlanta.