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Committee appointment marks start of search for new president

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Chair of the Board of Regents Herb Simon introduces Kellye Testy, dean of the School of Law, as chair of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee. The committee will recommend three to five presidenial candidates to the board by Jan. 31, 2011.

The committee that will lead the search for the next UW president was confirmed yesterday, marking one of the first steps to finding outgoing President Mark Emmert’s successor.

The Board of Regents approved the 17 members of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, which includes administrators from all three UW campuses, UW regents, business leaders and the presidents-elect of the ASUW and the Graduate and Professional Student Senate. The chair of the committee will be Kellye Testy, dean of the School of Law, who was hired herself in May 2009.

“This is a group of people who have the interests of the University of Washington very high on their priority list, and who have the skills and judgment to identify a gifted leader,” Board of Regents Chair Herb Simon said at the special meeting yesterday.

By Jan. 31, 2011, the committee will submit a list of three to five candidates recommended for final interviews to the Board of Regents.

The board also approved a leadership statement yesterday that outlined 11 characteristics the new president should possess, including “the ability to lead and manage a complex, multi-faceted organization,” “the ability to raise funds from private, public and governmental sources,” and “a devotion to promoting excellent teaching.”

Along with leadership and management skills, the presidential candidates will be evaluated on personal characteristics, such as integrity and humility, as indicated in the board-approved evaluation criteria.

On April 27, Mark Emmert announced that he would be leaving the UW to serve as the new president of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). He will begin his term as NCAA president no later than Nov. 1.

Upon Emmert’s departure, the Board of Regents will appoint an interim president who will serve until the permanent president takes office.

The process of appointing the interim president has not yet been determined.

“Right now, we’re just going to be starting that,” Simon said. “There’s not much more to say at this time.”

Reach reporter Joanna Nolasco at news@dailyuw.com.

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