A Presidential Search Advisory Committee has been appointed to find a replacement for President William R. Greiner, who announced in January his intention to retire from his position as the university's 13th president.
Jeremy Jacobs Jr., chairman of the University Council and the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, appointed the 17 members on the committee: four University Council representatives; seven faculty representatives; two student representatives; and four alumni, one each to represent the alumni, the UB Foundation, the administration and the staff. The committee is responsible for reviewing candidates for the presidential position and making a formal recommendation to the SUNY Board of Trustees.
Jennifer Tuttle, student representative of the University Council, and Julia Novilli, president of the Graduate Management Association, will serve as the student representatives on the search committee.
"The committee has an incredibly important task at hand - to find a visionary leader who will continue to help UB achieve even greater success in the future," stated Jacobs, in a press release. "Our timeline is aggressive, but we have a great group of committed professionals focused on finding the very best leader for this world-class university."
According to Robert Wagner, senior counselor to the president and who spoke on behalf of Jacobs, the committee's first task will be to hire a search firm that specializes in assisting colleges and universities with finding replacements for administrative positions.
"All the firms have expertise in assisting in searches for presidential and other senior officers," said Wagner.
Although the committee has yet to develop formal criteria for presidential candidates, Judith Adams-Volpe, director of University Libraries and faculty representative to the search committee, said UB's next president should have good communication skills and be "interested in community interaction."
"It will be very difficult to find the strong love that Bill and Carol Greiner have for UB," said Judith Adam-Volpe. "Hopefully, the institution will grow on someone."
Adams-Volpe also said a suitable presidential candidate will be a strong supporter of "intense research" and will "recognize the importance of teaching at a state university."
"The president has to foster strong support for the university among alumni and members of the community," she said.
As a member of the committee, Tuttle said she would seek to gauge what qualities the students would like in UB's next president.
"UB needs a president that will be very visible, realizes the growth potential, and will bring us to the next level," said Tuttle.
Addie Mckim, a freshman political science major, said she feels UB's next president should be open to new ideas about what will benefit students and "be good to faculty and treat them with respect."
"He should support UB athletics and be a part of the community, not be this guy that nobody knows what he looks like," said Mckim.
In accordance with SUNY guidelines, the presidential vacancy at UB will be announced nationally, and Wagner said there is also a possibility the search could be international. Rejection letters will be sent to candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements for the position as set by the search committee.
Adams-Volpe said the search "will be a fascinating experience but also a daunting one. We want someone who will want to be at UB and help us keep growing."
"I hope the search is difficult," Tuttle said. "We deserve the best here."
Although Greiner's retirement is tentatively set for June 30, Wagner said the committee cannot make an "intelligent estimate" of when the search will conclude and when Greiner's successor will take office as the 14th president of UB.
"People I've spoken to who have conducted presidential searches indicated it can be hard to predict how long a search will take," said Wagner.