Progress continues in search for new WFU president
By Kevin Cox
Wake Forest University has scheduled forums in September to give faculty, staff, students, alumni and others the opportunity to talk with the committee searching for a new president for the university. Thomas K. Hearn Jr. retires as president next June.
Murray C. Greason Jr., who chairs the Wake Forest board of trustees and the university's 12-member presidential search committee, announced the forums Aug. 13 in the latest of a series of e-mails sent in recent months to keep the university community informed on the search. The messages are sent to faculty, staff and students as well as a list of about 30,000 alumni and other supporters.
On the Reynolda Campus, forums will be held Sept. 8, 14 and 23 at 4 p.m. in Pugh Auditorium in the Benson University Center. On the Bowman Gray Campus, a forum will be held on Sept. 27 at 4 p.m. in Babcock Auditorium, in conjunction with a Wake Forest School of Medicine faculty meeting.
In his recent e-mail, Greason encouraged the university community to visit a Web site devoted to the presidential search and read the first draft of a presidential candidate profile describing desired attributes of the next president. Greason encouraged the university community to e-mail comments on the profile to the search committee.
"The final version (of the profile) will be prepared after members of the Search Committee feel that they have sufficient response from all Wake Forest constituencies," Greason announced in his e-mail.
Greason also announced that the search committee had attended Wake Forest's recent Summer Leadership Conference, an annual meeting of the university's boards and councils including the board of trustees. The search committee made a presentation to the attendees on its activities and plans, answered questions, and asked that each group in their individual meetings address a series of questions, such as one asking them to list the most important qualifications for the next president.
The search committee has taken several steps throughout the summer to maintain steady progress in the search, which began shortly after Thomas K. Hearn Jr. announced last April that he would retire next year after serving as president since 1983.
The search committee expects to announce a new president by next spring who would take office July 1.
One of the board of trustees' first steps was appointing the trustee members of the search committee, who in turn appointed the other members of the search committee and two advisory committees: a faculty advisory committee, and a volunteer boards and councils advisory committee.
In addition, a search firm A.T. Kearney Executive Search has been selected to participate in the process. The search committee is working specifically with a representative of the Education Practice division of the firm.
Members of the search committee include trustees; a retired faculty member/administrator and an active faculty member from each of the Reynolda and Bowman Gray campuses; and an alumna who earned her bachelor's and law degrees at Wake Forest.
The faculty advisory committee has 12 members, also. Members represent the College and the professional and graduate schools. The volunteer boards and advisory committee (sometimes referred to as the alumni advisory committee) has 14 members, including a couple who serve on the university's Parents Council.