CARBONDALE - A field of six finalists to be the next chancellor of Southern Illinois University Carbondale has been narrowed to two women, officials announced Monday.
Members of the Chancellor Search Committee were joined at Morris library for the afternoon announcement in which Rita Cheng, of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Barbara Couture of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln were unveiled as finalists for the job.
Those interested in meeting the candidates won't have to wait long as Cheng is scheduled to be visiting for three days beginning Wednesday for further vetting as the process of selecting the university's next chief executive enters its final stages.
Search committee co-chairman and professor, Thomas Britton, said the 18-member committee could have a final recommendation submitted to SIU President Glenn Poshard by as early as Nov. 13, though their goal remains to have it completed by the end of the month.
From there, Poshard will render a final decision, though he said the input of members of the community and any others "who choose to become engaged in the process" will be an important factor in the final decision.
The search process first began in summer 2008, said professor Peggy Stockdale, who was also co-chairwoman of the search committee, which she said received 29 applications for the chancellor's post.
In further detail, the candidates are:
- Rita Cheng: provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition to a doctorate in management earned at Temple University, she holds degrees from the University of Rhode Island and Bishop's University in Quebec. Cheng is scheduled to visit Wednesday. Interested persons are invited to attend a forum at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Morris Library's Guyon Auditorium.
- Barbara Couture earned three degrees from the University of Michigan, including her doctorate in English language and literature. She is the senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Couture is scheduled to visit Monday. Members of the campus community are invited to attend a forum at 8:30 a.m. Monday at Guyon Auditorium.
The format will be the same for both finalists and will include a presentation by the candidate, a panel discussion and time devoted to questions from the audience.