With Monday's resignation of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe, the SIU system is poised to enter the 2015-16 school year with vacancies in two of its top three leadership roles.
Members of the SIU Board of Trustees will discuss a hiring schedule for both the Carbondale and Edwardsville chancellorships at their upcoming July meeting, but system President Randy Dunn said one thing is for sure – he won’t be filling in for Furst-Bowe any time soon.
“What I’ll recommend is that they go ahead and have me work to identify some interim chancellor candidates, bring those back to the board with an appointment recommendation and then have an interim placed in that role for the 2015-16 school year,” Dunn said.
Furst-Bowe announced Monday that she has taken a job as vice president of instruction at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Wisconsin. Her resignation will be effective as of Aug. 14. She has held the top post at the Edwardsville campus for three years.
Dunn has served a dual role as system president and Carbondale chancellor since the death in November of Paul Sarvela, the Carbondale campus’s interim chancellor. He said that double job description may continue for several months, depending on what the board decides to do.
It’s been nearly one year since the last non-interim chancellor, Rita Cheng, left Carbondale for Northern Arizona University. Dunn said it’s time to start moving forward on important campus work, from fine-tuning enrollment strategy to continuing to reprioritizing the budget.
“However the Carbondale chancellorship is handled on an interim basis, if it turns out to be me for six-to-seven months or if the board appointed someone else to come in on a term appointment for a couple of years, we don’t have the luxury of being in maintenance mode right now,” he said.
The possibility of a two-year temporary appointment is not without precedent. Most recently, Don Beggs filled the Carbondale chancellorship for a fixed term, from 1996-1998.
A six-month nationwide search for a new Carbondale chancellor was suspended in May, with two finalists remaining, after the top contender, Oregon State University Executive Vice President and Provost Sabah Randhawa, withdrew his candidacy.
According to documents obtained by The Southern through a Freedom of Information Act request, the search cost the university $29,581.
The university did not employ a search consultant. Dunn said board members will consider whether or not to do so this time around. Hiring one firm to conduct two distinct searches has not been ruled out, he said.
“Whether or not a consultant would be used, I can say this will be two separate and distinct searches,” he said. “Carbondale and Edwardsville are two separate and distinct institutions. They have separate missions and different needs at this time.”