Saturday, June 7, 2014

Rita Cheng Likely to Leave

Northern Arizona University has tapped SIUC's own Chancellor Rita Cheng to take over its presidency, likely when the current president steps down next June.  through there were three candidates invited to return for a third interview, Cheng was the only one to accept the invitation, the other two choosing to remain in their positions. According to the article, she visited the campus this past Thursday for a welcoming event and the NAU Board of Regents is expected to formalize the offer the week of June 15.

The process followed one that has gotten more common in the selection of heads of colleges and universities, keeping the names under wraps until an offer is extended and not releasing the names of those considered for but not offered the position. The SIU BOT followed a similar procedure when selecting Randy Dunn as the next president of the two universities. Those advocating for the policy of secrecy argue that knowing they had considered other positions would make it harder for those under consideration to do an effective job should they chose ultimately to remain at their original institution while those arguing for an open process believe that stakeholders should know when administrators are under consideration for other positions.

Incidentally, releasing the news on a Friday afternoon is a traditional way of quashing much discussion about it. The period leads into the weekend for most people, who are spending the time wrapping up their week's work and preparing for a couple of days off. during which little attention gets paid to the news. There will be discussion of it on Monday, to be sure, but nowise as much as if this had been announced on Tuesday or Thursday.

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