Presidential search following timeline accurately

Brandi Doyal, Staff Reporter

Andrew Wisdom, co-chair of the Presidential Search Committee, said the search for the new university president is underway and on schedule. Scott Cowen announced his retirement last year, which will begin July 1, 2014, after serving as the president for 16 years.

There have been nominations and feedback from all portions of the Tulane community, and the search committee reported a high level of interest in the job. 

“We have received nominations of candidates from every aspect of the Tulane community: faculty, staff, students and alumni,” Wisdom said. “There is a tremendous amount of interest in the job.”

Wisdom said the search committee has access to and reads every e-mail that it receives and is satisfied with the amount of involvement from the community. The search committee has scheduled three town hall meetings on Oct. 14 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and Oct. 15 at 3:30 p.m. and again at 5:30 p.m.. These meetings are designed to gain feedback from members of the Tulane community.

“We really want to be clearly communicating to all of the university,” Wisdom said. “Sometimes communication needs to be two-directional. It needs to be interactive. Sometimes people have a question they want to ask, and they want to hear the response in real time. The goal of the meeting is to have an interactive, live, two-way discussion with different communities within the university.”

Freshman Leah Bayuk said she was interested in attending these town hall meetings.

“I definitely think the students should have some say,” Bayuk said. “I think the president represents Tulane. Tulane is us. We are Tulane, and we know what we want and what we need. There needs to be communication.”

Though many students said they are sad to see Scott Cowen retire, many have ideas on what they expect out of the next president.

“I would definitely like to see a president like Scott Cowen who is really connected with the students,” Smith said. “Someone who is really willing to meet with students on a one-on-one basis, someone who wants to learn who we are as the student body.”

On Sept. 16, the search committee website announced a plan to start interviews within the next 60 days. Wisdom said these interviews will not start until after the town hall meetings.

“I feel very good about the process,” Wisdom said. “Ideally, [we] would like to have identified the finalists, whoever that man or woman would be, by the end of the year, and hopefully by the end of January [we] will have made a selection and be able to announce the next president of the university.”

Wisdom said he does not want to set exact dates in case the schedule changes.

“There is a point where you lose control of the process and then a point where timing can change,” Wisdom said.

Wisdom said he has extreme confidence in the next university president because of the amount of support the community has shown.

“I am certain that the next president of Tulane University is going to be a rock star – we just don’t know who he or she is yet,” Wisdom said.