University begins search for the 16th president

By Heather Beyer, Editor-in-Chief

As the university embarks on a search for its 16th president, university officials announce the Board of Trustees is soliciting proposals from qualified firms to assist in the search.

After 15 years of serving as president, Luis M. Proenza announced a transition plan to complete his presidency on June 30, 2014 at a regular meeting of the university’s Board of Trustees last month.

Proenza plans to take a year-long sabbatical and he will return to campus as a tenured full-time professor. His salary will be equal to the highest paid full-time faculty member or will be reduced to 65 percent of his base pay (whichever is greater).

The Board of Trustees is serving as the presidential search committee and held its first meeting for the search on Sept. 16.

According to university officials, the Presidential Advisory and Screening Committee consists of four voting trustees, led by Vice Chair Jonathan T. Pavloff. The goal of the committee will be to recommend to the full Board the criteria and process in the search for a successor to Proenza.

In addition, the Presidential Transition Committee, which is comprised of three trustees including its Chair and Board Vice Chair Nicholas C. York, is charged with ensuring a smooth leadership transition and providing regular communication on transition issues to the campus and community.

University officials said due to the nature of this selection, the university will not conduct formal public openings of the proposals. Rather, the proposals it receives fron search firms will be reviewed and evaluated by the Board of Trustees.

Proposals should include the following information to assist in the evaluation:

• Evidence of past experience in professional recruiting similar in nature to this request

• Evidence of extensive national search capabilities as related to this position.

• A list of academic institutions which have retained the firm, including a description of the position and the results of the search.

• An overview of the background and qualifications of those who will be involved with this project, including the team leader.

• A statement of the number and type of ongoing searches the search firm is currently involved with and a current status of these searches.

• Evidence of candidate pools reflecting commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative action.

• A statement of the firm’s professional fee and cost arrangements.

• Any other information the search firm wishes to submit in support of its proposal.

According to university officials, The University of Akron reserves the right to accept or reject any or all proposals or any part of any proposal received and to waive any formalities or technicalities in any proposal received. Price will not be the sole determining factor in the selection process.

The University’s Board of Trustees will determine which firms to interview.

Any costs associated with the interview process will be the responsibility of the search firm.

The Presidential Advisory and Screening Committee of the university’s Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in the Student Union.

The meeting will be an executive session not open to the public as permitted by Ohio’s open meeting law.