CARBONDALE — The search for a new chancellor at Southern Illinois University has been suspended as of Monday.
The preferred candidate, Oregon State University Executive Vice President and Provost Sabah Randhawa, withdrew from consideration, according to a news release from the university.
"After several days of conversation and ongoing negotiation, Dr. Randhawa decided to end his candidacy,” SIU President Randy Dunn said in the release. “He was very gracious and expressed his appreciation for the opportunity.”
Dunn said there was no single issue that led to the withdrawal, but concern about the state’s fiscal condition was a contributing factor.
“These are major decisions for candidates as well as institutions, and it is often during the final phases of the process that decisions become clear based on the unique interests of the candidate and the unique nature of the institution,” Dunn said in the release.
The next steps will be discussed July 16 at the Board of Trustee’s meeting at the SIU School of Medicine campus in Springfield, Dunn said, who will continue to act as chancellor and president.
Dunn said the committee conducting the search did an outstanding job bringing forward strong candidates.
“Ultimately, the board and I believe that we should be able to attract a chancellor with deep, rich and proven administrative experience in areas of critical importance to the university’s future — including fundraising, community and regional engagement, and recruitment and retention — given the challenges ahead,” he said in the release.
The chancellor’s position has been vacant since November 2014 after the death of Interim Chancellor Paul Sarvela.
Susan Ford, acting provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at SIU, was the other candidate.