SIUC chancellor search expected to be completed by summer


Daily Egyptian File Image

SIU President Randy Dunn talks during his State of the System address Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, at the Student Center in Carbondale.

By Anna Spoerre

Applicant screenings for SIU’s next chancellor will begin in January, with the finalist expected to take the position on July 1.

The 18-person Chancellor Search Advisory Committee announced by SIU President Randy Dunn on Oct. 17 will begin screening candidates Jan. 15 to fill the position held by interim Chancellor Brad Colwell, according to a position description released by the committee.

This committee placed advertisements for the position in publications including the Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Hispanic Outlook and Women in Higher Education, according to a university press release.


Laurie Achenbach, chair of the advisory committee and dean of the College of Science, said the committee voted not to use an outside consulting firm to advertise the position — instead forming a sub-committee to focus on this outreach.

She said committee members and others on campus are also reaching out to their own networks, adding a personal touch that is important in finding the best candidates.

Achenbach said she anticipates significant savings from deciding not to use an outside firm, which she estimated would have cost between $50,000 and $100,000. Instead, she said, the total spent on advertising will be roughly $12,000.

The exact total will be determined later this week, she said.

“The committee is very confident they can get the broadest, most diverse pool of applicants they can,” Achenbach said.

According to a timeline on the university’s chancellor web page, approximately 10 candidates will be selected by February, and the committee will proceed with Skype interviews leading up to Spring Break.

On-campus interviews are scheduled to take place in April, with the hopes of selecting a finalist before the end of the school year.


A previous permanent search was initiated after the death of interim Chancellor Paul Sarvela in November 2014. That search was suspended in June 2015 after the preferred candidate withdrew from consideration.

Dunn, who acted as president and chancellor after Sarvela’s death, appointed Colwell to the interim position Oct. 1, 2015. The appointment was approved by the SIU Board of Trustees for up to two years.

“I would really like to have this decided by late March if possible for big decisions that potentially will need to be made later in the spring,” Dunn said in the press release, referencing the state’s ongoing budget crisis.

Campus editor Anna Spoerre can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @annaspoerre

To stay up to date with all your SIU news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.