Butler University’s presidential search committee met for the first time Dec. 1 to determine the next step in the process of finding a new Butler president.
The committee includes students, professors, faculty, members of the Indianapolis community and Butler trustees. These members will be responsible for interviewing and finding potential candidates.
At their first meeting, Search Committee Chair James White said the group discussed the timeline of the upcoming weeks.
“Of course, it was just a preliminary meeting to work out some major details,” White said. “We are planning to find and hire a search committee so that we can get this search underway.”
A new president will be chosen before classes start again in August 2011, White said.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we will have a president,” White said. “It’s our job and we’re going to get that done.”
In searching for the next president, White said the committee has particular characteristics in mind.
“Every company and business has goals, and really, Butler University is a business,” he said. “When you are looking for someone to take over a position like this, you really have to find someone with similar goals to the ones we have in mind.”
White will serve as a liaison between the committee and the public as the process continues, per an agreement made between committee member in the Dec. 1 meeting.
“I believe it’s important for the public to know what is going on,” he said. “At the same time, though, people have to realize there are things going on behind the scenes.”
John Hargrove, Butler University board of trustees chairman, said the committee will get the job done on time, but they have to go into the process with particular understandings.
“We really have to make sure the president has the right attributes,” Hargrove said. “We’re going to take the time necessary to find the right person.”
A student voice will be represented in the committee, something that Hargrove said is important along the way.
“When it comes down to it, we are all Bulldogs, so this really affects all of us,” he said. “It affects the students, so why shouldn’t they have a say in it?”
Chris Ring, junior and president of the student government association, was recommended to serve as part of the committee by Vice President for Student Affairs Levester Johnson.
“I was honored to be selected to be a part of this process,” Ring said. “I [also] had what I would consider to be typical apprehensions and nervous feelings.”
Taking a position on the committee is a responsibility that Ring said he isn’t taking lightly.
“It’s a large time commitment, but I have committed to doing this for the benefit of Butler University,” Ring said.
White said the common goal of all members is to make sure Butler is still going in the right direction.
“We just want to keep us moving,” White said. “We’re in this to keep this momentum going. It’s time to continue to grow and flourish.”