Monday, October 11, 2010

Update from the Board of Regents

On University of Minnesota

Presidential Search

As we prepare to change horses in mid-stream a blanket email was sent today to to the community:

"The search for the next president of the University of Minnesota is moving forward as planned. The Presidential Search Advisory Committee is continuing its work to identify candidates and conduct initial interviews so that in the near future the committee can forward a number of highly qualified semi-finalists to the Board of Regents for its consideration."

"The process continues on a path toward the election of a new president by the end of the calendar year. All finalists, defined by state law as candidates who will be interviewed by the appointing authority (the Board of Regents), will visit campus for a public interview with the Board and a series of meetings, including a public forum, with University constituencies."  

As opposed to the way this search was conducted last time - in secret - this is an improved process. It will be interesting to see the caliber of candidates who have applied for this position.  The last search was very disappointing. Any internal candidates should be subjected to very close scrutiny, especially if they have been participants in the present administration.

The opportunity to question these candidates in an open forum should be taken seriously. A vision for change and a return to our land grant priorities is essential.  A re-affirmation of the principles of academic freedom, rather than the recent example of censorship, is to be expected.  

"That the U so clumsily stood in the way of its [Troubled Waters] release is stunning. The retiring Bruininks needs to move quickly to prevent future censorship. A broad commitment to academic freedom should be on the top of the list for qualities sought in his successor."
Censorship Blights U's Reputation
Star-Tribune, October 10, 2010

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