Grawemeyer Hall
Grawemeyer Hall

Vision. Leadership. Transparency.

The committee charged with finding UofL’s next president cited those and other traits when discussing their ideal candidate.

The 16 committee members held their first meeting in Grawemeyer Hall March 15. They focused on organizational issues, including the establishment of two subcommittees, one to develop an RFP for a search firm and the other to compile a list of characteristics and qualifications to use in finding the university’s next leader.

Committee Co-chair David Grissom will lead the characteristics subcommittee; Co-chair John Schnatter will head the RFP group.

Stressing the strengths of his fellow committee members, Grissom said the group “cannot fail.” He stressed that the group should look for someone “who can manage what is and imagine what will be,” and who has personal and financial integrity.

Faculty, staff and student reps Enid Trucios-Haynes, Will Armstrong and Aaron Vance stated the need for someone who appreciates shared governance, who is dedicated to diversity, inclusion and transparency and who holds a “students-first” focus. Trucios-Haynes also stressed the need for significant, formal faculty input, as called for in the Redbook, the university’s governance document.

The group also discussed a timeline for the search. While stressing the need for action, the group agreed that preparatory work — including gathering input from faculty, staff, students and other constituencies — will take two to three months, with interviews probably beginning no sooner than late summer or early fall.

Citing resolution of issues like the current SACS probation and a forensic audit of the UofL Foundation, Grissom stated that the university needs some “wins” before it pursues candidates.

“We need to do (the search) right rather than quickly,” he said.

John Drees is a 35-year veteran in the Office of Communications and Marketing. As vice president, communications and marketing, he works closely with the president, provost and other senior administrators, oversees the Office of Communications and Marketing, including media relations, marketing and brand, broadcast, social media, internal communication, crisis communication, visitor services and special events and activities. A former sports editor for the Voice Newspapers, he was a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including the Kentucky Sports Report and the Courier-Journal. A poor but enthusiastic golfer, he is an avid Cardinal sports fan. He also loves the Detroit Lions, so pity him.