By Joe Wilson —

On May 11, the U of L presidential search committee held a listening session to get community input on the university’s next president.

Jim Rogers and Alice Houston, two members of the search committee, hosted the event in the Chao Auditorium. They asked attendees about the traits, characteristics and skills they would hope to see in the next president.

Houston, explaining the importance of the community’s involvement in the presidential search, said: “We all know that great communities have great institutions as part of their foundations,” Houston said

Attendees said the next president should have research experience. In February 2022, U of L was named a Carnegie R1 Research Institution. Dr. Fran Hardin-Fanning, a professor at the School of Nursing, explained her wish that U of L remain distinguished in research. “I think it’s important that the person who will be overseeing all of the research activity at the University of Louisville be very much aware of the barriers that we face, as well as the facilitators that have been very successful in moving us forward,” she said.

The presidential search process began in December 2021 after President Neeli Bendapudi announced her move to Penn State University, where she currently serves as president. Since Bendapudi’s departure, Lori Gonzalez has served as U of L’s interim president.

The committee has held separate listening sessions for faculty, staff and students. They plan to use this feedback to create a leadership statement and job description for the presidency.

The committee will meet with candidates over the Summer and submit their recommendation to the Board of Trustees in the Fall. The school expects to announce the presidential appointment in November.