Iowa Board of Regents discuss ISU president search

By Katherine Klingseis,

The Iowa Board of Regents made significant progress yesterday in its search for the next president of Iowa State.

Futhering the search for President Gregory Geoffroy’s successor, the Board chose members for a presidential search committee. The committee is in charge of assisting and advising the Board in screening and searching for appropriate candidate.

“A search committee plays a very critical role in conducting the screening and working with the [executive] search committee to conduct the screening to try to get an appropriate candidate,” said Board President David W. Miles.

The search committee will be composed of two co-chairs, two regents, the faculty senate president, a representative from each college at ISU, the president of the scientific and professional staff council, the student body president, two members of the Alumni Association, two members of the ISU Foundation. Executive Director Robert Donley and Chief Academic Officer Diana Gonzalez will serve as non-voting members.

Miles recommended two co-chairs to the board: Labh Hira, dean of the College of Business at ISU, and Roger Underwood. Underwood is the chairman of Campaign Iowa State: Pride and Purpose and recipient of the Order of the Knoll Cardinal and Gold Award. He also advised the board to choose Regent Katie Mulholland and Regent Bruce Rastetter to represent the Board of Regents.

The Board also chose which executive search firm to hire. The firm is in charge of assisting the the presidential committee. The four prospective executive search firms were Parker Executive Search, Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc., R. William Funk and Associates and Isaacson, Miller.

“I was very impressed with all of the firms. They clearly have expertise in all of these areas,” Miles said. “As I evaluated it, chatted a bit with the board office staff. [I said] I think the recommendation I would make for you to consider would be the Parker Executive Search firm.”

Miles said he recommended Parker Executive Search because the firm knows Iowa State, understands the presidential search process and has been successful in previous presidential searches. Regent Craig Lang motioned to move the approval forward, and Regent Ruth Harkin seconded the motion.

“I believe the Parker group established themselves as having the ability to look into the kind of information we need in the search process,” Lang said.

Regent Lang also expressed concern about the public being surprised about the cost of hiring an executive search firm.

“We’re certainly going to be in excess of $100,000, whoever we choose,” Miles said. “And, it could readily be in excess of $150,000. So it’s a significant investment on [the] part of the regents — and actually on the part of Iowa State University.”

The search committee, with the help of the executive search firm, must choose between three and five possible presidential candidates to present to the board. The search committee will decide the candidates by fall 2011.

The board decided that the candidates will visit the ISU campus once chosen.

“The citizens on campus are extremely important part of this decision,” Regent Jack Evans said. “I think it’s very important for [people on campus] to see how [the candidates] comment [and] interview on campus.”

(Posted originally on on June 8, 2011)

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