Board of Regents names KU chancellor search committee members, outlines group’s charge

Strong Hall, Kansas University

TOPEKA — The community members, alumni, employees and students who will make up the University of Kansas chancellor search committee were approved and announced Wednesday.

The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday OK’d the 24-person committee, which is being led by chairman and KU graduate David Dillon, former chairman and CEO of The Kroger Co. Among committee members are U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, KU Hospital president and CEO Bob Page, retired federal judge Deanell Reece Tacha, KU student body president Stephonn Alcorn and KU University Senate president Joe Harrington.

The Regents also approved a formal charge for the committee, instructing the group to identify three to five candidates who are most qualified, from which the board will select KU’s next chancellor.

“I am particularly appreciative of how much this group of individuals have already given to the University of Kansas and of the diverse experience they will bring to our work,” Dillon said, in a statement from the Regents. “Given KU’s accomplishments and the groundwork already laid, I have total confidence that we will have a nationally-acclaimed pool of candidates to consider and a clear process to guide us.”

Current Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little announced in September that she’ll step down after this school year.

The chancellor search committee is particularly important because its members are the only representatives of the KU community that will be formally involved in the hiring process for the new chancellor.

Unlike recent KU administrator searches that involved campus visits by finalists and opportunity for public input, the Board of Regents decided that the KU chancellor search will be closed and confidential, meaning names of applicants and finalists will not be publicly shared.

“Committee Members shall preserve the confidentiality of the search process and candidate identities,” the charge states. “Such confidentiality is essential to the successful outcome of the search and must be maintained with professionalism and diligence at all times throughout the search process.”

The search committee’s role is to vet potential candidates, Board of Regents spokeswoman Breeze Richardson said. She said the search firm R. William Funk and Associates, hired in November, is responsible for finding the potential candidates to consider. 

Ultimately, the Board of Regents will interview finalists and choose whom to hire.

The goal is to hire and announce a new chancellor by June 2017 who can start work on or around July 1, 2017, the board’s request for proposals from search firms indicated.

KU chancellor search committee members

List and titles provided by the Kansas Board of Regents.

Alumni and foundation representatives:

— Lydia Beebe, Senior Of Counsel in the San Francisco office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and KU Endowment Association Trustee

— Greg Ek, First Vice-President and Wichita Branch Manager for Morgan Stanley, and KU Alumni Association National Board member

— Dave Roland, President of NDC Technologies and KU Alumni Association National Board member

— Deanell Reece Tacha, retired federal judge, United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, and Chair of the KU Endowment Association Board of Trustees

— Steve Sloan, Chief Executive Officer of Midwest Minerals, Inc. and KU Endowment Association Trustee representing KU Athletics

Student representatives:

— Stephonn Alcorn, a senior from Gardner studying finance and the KU-Lawrence student body president

— Gabby Naylor, a senior from Providence, R.I., majoring in accounting and the KU-Lawrence student body vice president

— Christina Hughey, a third-year medical student at the KU School of Medicine, chair of the Student Governing Council for the medical center campus and that body’s incoming president-elect

Faculty, administration and staff representatives:

— Ann Brill, Ph.D., Dean of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communication at KU

— Tracie Collins, M.D., chair at the KU School of Medicine in Wichita

— Joseph Harrington, Ph.D., professor in the KU department of English and KU University Senate president

— Roy A. Jensen, M.D., William R. Jewell, M.D. Distinguished Kansas Masonic Professor, director of the KU Cancer Center, and director of the Kansas Masonic Cancer Research Institute

— Amalia Monroe-Gulick, associate librarian faculty member with KU Libraries, and KU Faculty Senate president-elect

— Robert D. Simari, M.D., executive dean of the KU School of Medicine

— Rodolfo H. Torres, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for the KU’s Office of Research and a University Distinguished Professor of Mathematics

— Brian Moss, Staff Senate president-elect

— Elizabeth Phillips, president of the KU Staff Senate

Lawrence and Kansas community representatives:

— Willie Amison Jr., Ed.D., former elementary school principal and president of Amison Consulting

— Joan Golden, senior vice president of development for U.S. Bank of Lawrence

— Debbie Nordling, State Farm agent and KU Alumni Association Southwest Kansas chapter co-leader

— U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran

— Bob Page, president and CEO for KU Hospital

Board of Regents representatives:

— David Dillon (committee chairman), retired Chairman and CEO of The Kroger Co.

— Regent Ann Brandau-Murguia (committee vice-chairwoman), executive director of the Argentine Neighborhood Development Association

— Blake Flanders, president and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents