AdministrationNews

UO publishes job description for new president



If the University of Oregon had a Tinder account, its bio might read, “One of the nation’s premier research universities seeks innovative leader for president.” Since UO can’t just swipe right for the next president, the matching process is a little different.

The current presidential search is unique for the University of Oregon. In previous years, the university was a part of the Oregon University System, which used to pick the president. Governor Kitzhaber signed Senate Bill 270 in 2013 allowing Oregon universities to set up their own independent governing boards.

The UO Board of Trustees formed after SB 270 was signed into law and the board assumed responsibility for the university July 1, 2014. Among its many duties, the Board of Trustees is now responsible for the hiring of UO’s president.

In a previous interview with the Emerald, former UO President and Oregon Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer said that the university’s independent governing board could be more attractive to potential candidates than the OUS system, where the governing board’s attention was split between several universities.

UO’s new independent governing board formed a group to oversee the presidential search.

The Presidential Search Committee, chaired by UO alum and Board of Trustees member Connie Ballmer, is looking for that special someone to become UO’s 18th president.

“We are at the phase of the search where the firm and members of the committee are reaching out to prospective candidates to try and build a strong, talented pool,” Ballmer said. “The search committee and advisory group have vetted an updated position profile.”

On Jan. 15, UO published the position description and ideal candidate profile. The 17-page document provides an overview of the university that highlights its new independence from the Oregon University System, strategic planning and the UO’s new $2 billion capital campaign.

“This is a rare opportunity to lead an institution poised for change,” the position description says. “And to help shape the future of public higher education across Oregon.”

The position profile includes a laundry list of leadership characteristics and personal qualities. Phrases such as, “understanding and appreciation” appear frequently in the leadership characteristics section.

The personal qualities section reads like a personal ad. While there’s no “tall dark and handsome” qualification to be UO’s 18th president, the desired personal qualities for the position include “a lack of pretension” and “a good sense of humor.”

Nominations, applications or other expressions of interest in becoming UO’s 18th president should be directed at Parker Executive Search, preferably prior to March 19.

According to its website, Parker Executive’s higher education search practice “is one of the most highly regarded in the country, providing services to both public and private colleges and universities to aggressively recruit academic leaders.”

The Presidential Search Committee hired Parker Executive Search in November of 2014 to help UO find its next president.

“There is a lot of buzz around the country about the great things happening at the University of Oregon,” Ballmer said. “And we hope to capitalize on that and provide the Board of Trustees a terrific list of recommendations.”


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Alexandra Wallachy

Alexandra Wallachy

Alex is a head correspondent at the Emerald focusing on higher education and student government. She is also a producer for the Emerald Podcast Network and a huge fan of the Daily Show.