Trustees to announce next President

The Board of Trustees will meet in a special session to approve the selection of the university’s fourth president Thursday at 1 p.m. in the Griffin Center.

Director of Communications John Farless told The Shield that the upcoming meeting is open to the public and media.

A press conference is scheduled following the meeting and will last around 15 minutes.

The trustees met last week in executive session at Old National Bank to “discuss personnel matters”

Thursday’s announcement will come after a nationwide search conducted by the university’s search committee with the help of national presidential search firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates. All search committee meetings have been closed to the public since they began their search in October. Candidates for the position were not made public.

Other universities across the state have recently conducted searches to name their next presidents.

In fall of 2017, Indiana State University selected former University of Central Missouri provost Deborah Curtis as their president. Students and faculty were able to meet with the final two candidates at public sessions prior to the Board of Trustees’ decision.

The University of Evansville named Christopher Pietruszkiewicz, dean of the University of Stetson College of Law, as the university’s 24th president in late March. Like USI, the specifics of the UE presidential search was kept relatively secret from the public.

The number and names of presidential candidates for both universities were not released to the public.

Each member of the search committee were required to sign a confidentiality statement stating that members “agree to keep all material and information relating to the search, regardless of its format, strictly confidential and will not in any manner share with or convey this material and information to any person other than members of the search committee, USI’s Board of Trustees, and its executive director, human resources.”

As the leader and chief executive officer of the university, the next president will serve as it’s external chief representative. The president reports directly to the Board of Trustees and oversees the preparation of the annual budget and the allocation of resources for university purposes.

The president also makes policy decisions with respect to the mission, plans, and development of the university, and is responsible for promoting USI according to the presidential search website.

Whoever is chosen as president will have seven direct reports and convene a group of officers composed of the provost and four vice presidents.

Some of the opportunities the new president will be faced with include raising the profile of the university, maintaining a strong campus culture, managing growth and diversifying resources among other challenges.

President Linda Bennett announced her retirement in August 2017 after serving as the university’s third president since 2009. Bennett, who served as provost at the university for six years before being named president, will officially retire June 30.