KU's Faculty Executive Committee wants the next chancellor to be a high-caliber academic.
A Kansas University faculty group Tuesday criticized the chancellor search committee for departing from a traditional focus on academics.
Faculty Executive Committee voted unanimously to send this message to the search committee: The next chancellor should be qualified for an academic appointment at KU.
T.P. Srinivasan, a member of FacEx and the chancellor search committee, said it was a mistake for the search committee to publish job announcements that don't articulate this academic expectations.
"They need to be reminded that General Eisenhower was a great general and a great president of this country, but was a disaster as president of Columbia University," he said. "They should be made to understand we should not have to educate our chancellor on academic work."
Last week, a majority of the 17-member search committee agreed with the state Board of Regents that advertisements emphasizing the academic side of KU might discourage applications from individuals without a Ph.D. and people in non-academic professions.
FacEx member John Davidson, professor of physics and astronomy, said the ads send a message to U.S. higher education that KU faculty don't have a key voice in the search process.
"I think the faculty here, in practical terms, has been pushed aside here," Davidson said. "I want to tell regents and the state at large that we are deeply concerned."
Stephen Jordan, executive director of the Board of Regents and a member of the search panel, said he expected the search committee to take a close look at each candidate's academic track record.
He didn't appreciate FacEx's rabble-rousing.
"It's inappropriate to get into this kind of a debate," Jordan said.
Srinivasan said he might quit the chancellor search committee if fellow members don't agree at a meeting Sept. 16 to make academics the guiding consideration in the review of candidates.
KU Chancellor Gene Budig will resign at the end of the month to become president of baseball's American League. An acting chancellor was appointed.
The search committee plans to submit names of at least five finalists to the Board of Regents in December. Regents pick the chancellor.