By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer
A representative from an executive search firm spent all day Monday on the University of Cincinnati campus gathering input he'll use to find candidates for the job of UC president.
Charles Knapp, a partner with Atlanta-based Heidrick & Struggles, walked across campus, meeting with deans, provosts, vice presidents, alumni and faculty.
Two common themes emerged among the range of opinions: continued emphasis on academic excellence and concern over the dramatic decline in state funding over the past decade.
"Every place we have been today, the term academic excellence has come up," said Jeff Wyler, chairman of the presidential search committee and member of UC's Board of Trustees. "The other thing is the budget, the resources of the state. They are not where they used to be. And they never will be again."
The selection is a balancing act that combines academic with politician, fund-raiser with civic leader, and promoter with collaborator. Some constituents voiced concerns over an academic erosion in the College of Arts and Sciences, while others debated merits of new facilities.
The next UC president will have the right mix of qualities to address a variety of concerns, Knapp said.
"There are a large number of highly qualified people who want to be presidents of major universities," he told a group of about 30 faculty members. "But they're not all right for the University of Cincinnati. In the end, the decisions are up to the university."
It is the first time in nearly two decades that the university has searched for a new president. Joseph Steger announced his decision to retire Nov. 1. Though his contract expires in June, he has agreed to stay on as interim president until a replacement is found.
"GREAT NEIGHBORHOODS" SERIES
Guide to Hamilton
LAURA PULFER COLUMN
Serving honorably at home
Boycott demands consolidated
Judge blasts city's motion, lets Black United Front withdraw
Thomas' mom still seeking closure
Troubled apartment complex purchased
Firm begins search to head UC
Police make 117 arrests in Westwood
Bridge construction begins
TRISTATE REACTS TO WAR ( Latest war news )
Grenade attack victim wishes he could return to war
Dog tags show visible support
Keeping in touch with Tristate military
Military items to be displayed
218,931 Guard, reservists serving
AROUND THE TRISTATE
Road builders seek new ways
Tristate A.M. Report
Good News: Kids raise $31,867 for cancer victim
Unwanted horses saved
Court overturns ex-judge's conviction
Suspect used stun gun, woman says
Fairfield seeks levy renewal
Poultry customers lost without landmark bird
Warren Co. leaders push for college
Warren Co. program spared cuts for now
Deerfield Road neighbors oppose sidewalks
State's fee proposal, cuts criticized
House ponders tax increase or gambling
Ohio Moments: Music Hall dedicated 125 years ago
Prosecutor joins GOP ticket
Senators will choose prosecutor
Williamstown water found in violation
N.Ky. cops get the lowdown on suburban youth gangs
Around the Commonwealth
Four groups file suit to block forest land swap
Jury deadlocks in ex-official's case