By Shelby Brown and Kyeland Jackson —
As the search for U of L’s next president continues in secret, more faculty voiced their opposition.
Faculty members said they’re “thoroughly opposed” to a closed search for the university’s next president in letters being sent to U of L’s board. The letters suggested expanding the presidential search committee and including opening the search for more input.
“We feel that severely limiting the input from faculty and other constituents will damage the efforts to cultivate greater transparency, undermine the importance of shared governance, and negatively impact the future working relationship and trust between the faculty and senior leadership,” one letter said, urging collaboration. “This more inclusive representation would also help restore the confidence of the university’s donors.”
Board of Trustees Chair David Grissom announced the search would be confidential Sept. 15, explaining the board wanted to protect the potential applicants’ careers from public scrutiny. Grissom and SGA President Vishnu Tirumala promised constituents would have ample input on the search, pointing to board representatives and listening tours to gather public input as examples.
But Susan Jarosi, U of L’s American Association of University Professors’ president, cried foul, saying a closed search would impede constituents’ input.
“Without knowing who the finalists are, (faculty) won’t be able to say whether they prefer candidate A or B or C relative to one another,” Jarosi said in an email. “It’s one thing to say that faculty prefer candidates with academic backgrounds, which is a very general statement about requisite experience; it’s quite another to be able to asses the specific qualifications and experience of the candidates, compare them to each other, and present a judgement to our elected representative.”
The letters will be sent to the board before it meets Oct. 18. Both draft letters are below:
Faculty Senate executive
File photo / The Louisville Cardinal