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Search continues for Rawlins’ replacement
Melissa Wylie/ Senior Staff Writer
Chancellor Lee Jackson said there is no timetable for hiring a president to replace V. Lane Rawlins at the monthly Faculty Senate Meeting in Wooten Hall yesterday.
During the meeting, the Senate also approved policies regarding academic freedom for faculty, reapportionment of Senator groups and temporarily waiving committee voting procedures.
Jackson said any information he shares regarding the search is merely speculation until the search committee meets for the first time next week.
“I can’t tell you, for example, how long it will take or what the next president will look like,” Jackson said.
The focus of the 17-member committee is finding candidates that have previous experience in leadership positions and can further the goals already established by Rawlins, Jackson said.
“I have every confidence that they will do a good job in recognizing proven talent rather than aspirational talent,” Jackson said.
The open-forum meeting allowed the senators to voice what faculty priorities the committee should take into consideration when selecting candidates.
Topics of concern included sensitivity to changing state demographics, replacement of administration and shared governance among faculty.
Though a new leader will have opportunities to make various adjustments, Jackson said a new president will most likely be careful about challenging the balance Rawlins created.
“There will not be a message conveyed about sweeping change,” Jackson said.
Rawlins also made an appearance at the meeting, disproving a recent rumor that positions at UNT were to be reduced.
“There is not, nor has there ever been, a plan that involves the laying off of any faculty,” Rawlins said. “There’s never been any contemplation of faculty being laid off.”
Rawlins said he pledged to remain president until the position is filled, working to ensure problem-free budgeting when the new president takes office.
“I am the most optimistic I’ve been about the budget at UNT since I got here,” Rawlins said. “We’re budgeting for flexibility.”
Senator Dan Peak, information technology and decision sciences professor, said he hopes the committee finds candidates similar to Rawlins.
“When I first heard of President Rawlins’ retirement, I had the same reaction as when I first ate English food: I was greatly disappointed,” Peak said. “He was a good one.”
Rawlins said he requested that the Board amend his contract so that he would be able to retire by the end of 2013.
The next meeting will be at 2 p.m. on May 8 in Wooten Hall and will cover voting for officers and committee members.