Search committee ready to go

The key is in the ignition and the engines are running.

Officials announced Thursday the members of the search committee that will select the ninth president of the University.

The group is comprised of six Trustees, five faculty members, two students, one alumni representative and one staff member; they will begin meeting in May.

The committee's chair, Robert Steel, Trinity '73 and vice-chair of Goldman Sachs & Co., was named in March when President Nan Keohane announced to the Board of Trustees that she would step down from her position in June 2004 after 11 years in the office.

Steel, vice chair of the Board, said he is satisfied with the committee's composition and hopes to begin its work soon.

"We were trying to get a balance of people, to make sure we chose people not just for their qualifications, but for what they contributed to the overall committee, to get a rich diversity of perspectives," said Steel, who is also chair of the board of directors for the Duke University Management Company, Duke's asset investment company.

He added that there were already precedents from the 1992 search that selected Keohane, as well as several specific rules in place for how the committee should be composed.

Sara Beale, Charles L. B. Lowndes professor of law, will serve as the committee's vice chair, and Allison Haltom, vice president and University secretary, will serve as the executive vice chair and as a non-voting ex-officio member of the committee.

Haltom said the committee will meet May 10, during graduation weekend, for the first time.

"We'll get to work in the next month or so," Steel said. "Our goal is to be finished by February.... We're kind of off to the races. We'll work over the summer and into the fall."

The committee's trustees include a mix of public servants, academic officials and corporate leaders: Dan Blue, Trinity '73, former N.C. House speaker; Paula Burger, Woman's College '67, vice provost for academic affairs and international programs at The Johns Hopkins University; Kimberly Jenkins, Trinity '76, and Graduate School '77 and '80, an advocate for innovative uses of technology in education and president of the Internet Policy Institute; Sally Robinson, Woman's College '55, a Charlotte community service volunteer; Richard Wagoner, Trinity '75, president and CEO of General Motors Corp.; and ex-officio member Peter Nicholas, Trinity '64, chair of Boston Scientific Corp., who will also take over as chair of the Board this summer.

The faculty members come from a wide spectrum of academic fields and include Jeffrey Krolik, director of graduate studies and professor of electrical and computer engineering; Prasad Kasibhatla, associate professor in the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences; John Simon, George B. Geller professor and chair of the chemistry department; Philip Stewart, Benjamin E. Powell professor of romance studies; and ex-officio member Nancy Allen, chair of the Academic Council and professor pf rheumatology and immunology.

Stewart served as vice chair of the 1992 presidential selection committee, upon which Beale and Haltom also sat.

Devon MacWilliam, a junior and president of the Panhellenic Council, will serve as the committee's undergraduate representative. Louis D'Amico, a graduate student in biology, will represent graduate and professional students.

Ruth Ross, Woman's College '68, former president of the Duke Alumni Association, and Jacqueline Looney, associate dean for student affairs at the Graduate School and associate vice provost for academic diversity, round out the committee's members.

Last month, the University sent out notices to faculty and other members of the Duke community soliciting opinion on what qualities the next University president should have. Steel said he has not yet had time to sort through all of the input that has thus far been sent in.

"My best information comes from The Chronicle," Steel said. "We haven't had a single meeting with the committee. We haven't correlated a review of any of the responses."


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