By Kyeland Jackson —

The search for U of L’s next president is about to begin, but its candidates will be secret.

Board of Trustees Chair David Grissom issued a statement during a board of trustees meeting Friday, saying a national search firm would begin the search for another president.  Search firm R. William Funk & Associates said the university could name a new president by spring, but Grissom’s statement says the search will be confidential.

“This will enable us to develop the strongest possible pool from which to find our next leader,” Grissom’s statement read. “The Board will seek a candidate with strong academic experience who can inspire the campus community and help us attain even higher levels of academic excellence.”

Grissom explained the decision is to not scare away potential candidates who may come under public scrutiny.

Asked about constituents’ input on the search, Grissom cited the new committee, staffed by representatives for the students, faculty and staff, created Friday to gather opinions from campus.

Susan Jarosi, president of the local American Association of University Professors, said that was not enough representation. Jarosi said Grissom’s decision to make the search secret was “disturbing,” comparing the decision to former president James Ramsey’s tenure.

“The search being closed was our biggest worry,” Jarosi said. “The issues that we have been through in the past year or more, I think, make it very clear that the community wants an open search.”

Previous surveys by faculty and staff outlined ideal traits for the next president and Student Government Association President Vishnu Tirumala said a student committee will be created to outline presidential traits students want.

U of L’s Interim President Greg Postel was interested in the position and would apply for it. In the board meeting Friday, representatives from R. William Funk & Associates said local candidates could be referred to their offices to be part of the search.

This story will be updated.

File photo / The Louisville Cardinal