Southern Illinois University will begin its search for a permanent president soon, and at the same time leaders say they're working to find an interim chancellor for the Carbondale campus.
At a special Board of Trustees meeting Friday, Witt/Keiffer was chosen as the national firm to conduct the presidential search, with the hope that a new system leader could be in place by the Fall 2019 semester.
When it comes to naming an interim chancellor to fill the vacancy left by the death of Chancellor Carlo Montemagno, Brett Sefarian with the Illinois Education Association says input from the campus is key.
"It's no secret to anybody that it's been a rocky time lately. Trust in the administration, and trust in the Board of Trustees is not high. How the Board of Trustees handles this search will either start healing those fractures, or it will exacerbate them."
Interim President Kevin Dorsey says input is critical. But he says the search will move forward quickly - and deliberately.
"We don't want to confuse a search for an interim with a search for a permanent. I think we need input, but I don't think we can run an interim search like a permanent search."
To that end, Dorsey and other leaders say they are vetting several potential candidates and hope to have more information - and possibly a selection - by the December board meeting.
"We need an interim chancellor, clear? Let's get one on board. Now, a permanent chancellor needs to know who their boss is going to be. So that's why the order, I think, needs to be interim chancellor, get a permanent president in, and then begin the search for a permanent chancellor."
Students, faculty, and staff say they want to have input on the choice. While Dorsey and trustees say input is important - they don't expect the selection process to take long.