Presidential search committee announced

Membership includes Board of Visitors members, students, faculty, alumni

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Sullivan called on the search committee to consider a wide range of viewpoints when searching for a new University president.

Sarah Lindamood | Cavalier Daily

The University announced Friday the members of a special committee that will search for and recommend University President Teresa Sullivan’s successor.

The presidential search committee — which includes Board of Visitors members, faculty and staff representatives, students and alumni — will ultimately recommend a candidate to the University’s Board of Visitors.

After a seven-year tenure, Sullivan announced last month that she will be stepping down when her contract expires in the summer of 2018.

Rector William H. Goodwin Jr. will co-chair the committee with Vice Rector Frank M. “Rusty” Conner III. The search committee is made up of 22 members, including 11 board members, two students, six faculty and staff members and three former Board members.

“The most important responsibility of the Board of Visitors is to appoint the president of this great university,” Goodwin said in a release. “The Board is committed to finding the absolute best person to build on President Teresa Sullivan’s accomplishments and the distinguished legacy of the University of Virginia’s previous presidents.”

Subcommittees will work with students, faculty, staff and alumni in order to determine the qualifications and traits they would like to see in a new president. The committee will also hold town hall meetings in Charlottesville and at the College at Wise, as well as other cities in Virginia and around the U.S.

According to a release, the committee will launch a website where stakeholders can send their opinions on what they would like to see out of the new president.

“We intend to conduct a thorough and transparent search,” Goodwin said. “We have no timetable in mind in which to conclude the search, but we intend to be deliberate.”

The committee plans to have a profile of its criteria for potential candidates by early spring.

In Sullivan’s original email to the University committee announcing her plans, she said she hopes the search committee utilizes the viewpoints of stakeholders like students, alumni, parents and donors.

“The search committee should solicit the views of our affiliated foundations, which mobilize so many dedicated volunteers for the University,” Sullivan said. “Such consultation is best done without an undue sense of urgency.”

According to Goodwin, the variety of members on the search committee will help represent the interests involved in choosing the next president.

“The special committee members represent a broad spectrum of our University community and have the experience and knowledge to help inform the board’s search to successfully identify U.Va.’s ninth president,” Goodwin said.

The first meeting of the search committee is scheduled for Feb. 20.

Members of the search committee contacted for this article deferred requests for comment to University Communications. Student Council — which has called for students to play an active role in the presidential search process — declined to comment for this article. 

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