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University president search continues

Presidential Search Committee Chair Calvin Butler recently updated the campus community on where the Board of Trustees is at in the presidential search process.

“We would love to have a new president hired by the start of the academic year, so we’d put that in an August-September time frame,” Butler said. “But we are not going to let that force us into a decision of someone who we think may not be the right fit because it’s convenient. We are going to take our time. Our belief is that we won’t take anything off the table because we want to do it right.”

The committee’s next meeting will be at the end of April, by which time Butler said he hopes to have a “nice supply of applicants.”

As for the possibility of appointing an interim, which was an idea briefly discussed during last week’s forum, Butler echoed Chairman of the Board of Trustees Doug Stewart’s statement from earlier this semester saying it would serve as a backup plan.

“The interim comes along if we do not have what we believe is the right fit and the right person for the university, so that’s how we are approaching that right now,” Butler said. “Ideally, we’d love to have someone ready to go [in August], but again, it’s all about making the right decision.”

The search will most likely bring external candidates to campus, as Butler said no internal candidates have expressed interest thus far.

Throughout the process, Butler stressed he will work to keep faculty, staff, students and Peoria residents updated with what the committee is doing.

“I know that there is a community email system, and we are working with the university to make sure we set up a process where we are communicating to the staff as well as faculty,” Butler said. “I will communicate the next steps after that April [meeting] because I never want you, or the students, or the administration, or faculty or staff to have to guess where we are.”

With regard to Bradley’s next president, Butler said he is optimistic.

“I am as committed as anyone to the student environment and experience here at Bradley University,” he said. “I can’t ensure you a lot, but I can ensure you that the next president will have that same commitment.”

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