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Archive for Thursday, December 8, 1994

KU NARROWS CHANCELLOR SEARCH TO 5

December 8, 1994

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The 17-member KU chancellor search committee picked five finalists for the job, but the nominees have yet to agree to remain in the pool.

The Kansas University search committee Wednesday unanimously agreed to nominate five people with strong academic credentials for chancellor.

Identities of nominees and two alternates weren't disclosed after the committee's meeting in the Adams Alumni Center.

El Dorado businessman Frank Becker, search committee chair, said it was easy to reach consensus.

"It was almost a slam dunk," Becker said before watching the Kansas-Florida game in Allen Fieldhouse. "We've got a great bunch of candidates."

Stephen Jordan, executive director of the Kansas Board of Regents and a search committee member, said today that no information about the seven people would be released until commitments were obtained from five finalists.

"We've got a difficult situation of having candid conversations with these people to ... ascertain their continuing interest in being a candidate," Jordan said.

He doesn't want official confirmation of names on the short list to jeopardize anyone's candidacy.

If five people can't be convinced to stay in the search, Jordan said he would go back to the search committee for more nominees. Jordan and Becker expect to retain at least five of the original seven.

Jordan said regents would meet next week to discuss the KU chancellor search before deciding when and how to go public with the short list.

Regents are responsible for selecting the new chancellor. Selection will likely occur in early 1995.

When the search began in July, regents announced it was in the public interest to release names of finalists for the job. However, regents did not promise exactly when the disclosure would be made.

Becker said all finalists had academic backgrounds, which made moot the objections of some KU faculty that it would be dangerous to consider candidates with non-academic backgrounds.

The search committee selected the top seven people from among 16 semifinalists. There were 105 applicants and nominees.

The chancellor's job opened when Gene Budig resigned to become president of baseball's American League. Interim Chancellor Del Shankel, professor of microbiology, isn't a candidate.

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