Wednesday, February 23, 2011

UK trustees vote to keep presidential search confidential until the final phase

The names of finalists to be the new president of the University of Kentucky will be released only if all of them agree to the disclosure, and if not, only the university trustees' preferred candidate will be introduced to the campus community before being hired, the trustees agreed yesterday.

Trustee Jim Stuckert, chairman of the presidential search committee, "said the confidentiality provision was critical to applicants," the Lexington Herald-Leader reports, quoting him as saying, "We've got people waiting in the wings predicated on these motions." Britt Brockman, chairman of the Board of Trustees, told Becca Clemons of the Kentucky Kernel Monday that the search committee "has been extremely impressed by the breadth and depth of the field." The committee is scheduled to meet today to screen candidates; interviews are scheduled for March 22-23. (Read more)

At yesterday's meeting Brockman called the decision “a nice compromise . . . between public interest and transparency.” He said it would ensure input from the campus community and UK alumni, Nancy Rodriguez of The Courier-Journal writes, "while also protecting the privacy of candidates who might otherwise be scared away from applying out of concern they might lose their jobs at other institutions." (Read more)

There were misgivings. The Herald-Leader's Cheryl Truman reports, "Staff trustee Sheila Brothers said that she would vote for the confidentiality motion, but wondered whether she was getting reliable information about the importance of a closed search, saying she thought there is 'a vested interest in keeping the process closed.'" (Read more)

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