The SRU Council of Trustees hosted a town hall session on April 13 to let members of the campus community express what they want in a president.
Jeff Smith, member of the Council of Trustees and the presidential search committee, hosted the event alongside JoAnn Gora, who is a consultant for the Association of Governing Boards (AGB), the firm helping SRU with the search.
Gora said that the first step in the process is creating a presidential profile, which will act as a job description for applicants. Gora said the search firm is hoping to have campus interviews in September, with the new president being announced by October 2017 and taking over in the spring 2018 semester.
“The candidate generation phase will take place during the summer, “Gora said. “Once the fall semester resumes and people are back on campus the search committee will be in the process of vetting the applications.”
Gora presented those in attendance a list of seven questions to answer, with the questions covering what challenges SRU will face, what attributes they wanted in the president and the unique strengths of SRU.
James Free, senior secondary education major, said the new president should be willing to increase the quality of education and keep an eye on campus issues.
“They should also be the kind of person to look outwardly more than inwardly,” Free said. “They should be willing to increase the efficiency and the quality of education received using their specific experience and knowledge to put a new set of eyes on the issue and point out what somebody already on campus might have overlooked over the years.”
A few music education and performing arts students also expressed a desire for Miller Auditorium to be renovated, saying their respective programs have suffered from not having experience in playing in a concert hall and having to rent out facilities.
Deborah Baker, director of special events, said that many departments don’t have proper performance space.
“The lack of a performing arts complex moving forward has really invented a problem for so many of the academic areas,” Baker said. “Our community has been told we’re going to be getting a new performing arts space for what is now moving into the sixth year.”
Future updates and additional comments on the presidential search can be found on the university’s website.
Note: Edits were made on April 17, with the original article erroneously reporting that questions would be answered online.