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Search committee discusses preferred qualifications for next UA president

Stephen N. Dethrage

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The UA Presidential Search Advisory Committee met for two hours Monday to conduct its second work session and continue the conversation on the criteria for the man or woman who will replace now Chancellor Robert Witt as the president of the University of Alabama.

The 23 member committee includes six members of the UA System Board of Trustees, nine UA administrators, five business leaders and alumni, two professors and one student, SGA President Matt Calderone.

Kellee Reinhart, the Vice Chancellor for System Relations, said no names have been added to the list of candidates the committee will present to Witt for his review as yet, but the process is moving smoothly and without setback.

“The words progress and expeditious are the words I would use to describe the status of the search for the University of Alabama’s next president,” Reinhart said.

Advertisements for the applications for the position have been placed in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Reinhart said, and conversations about the search process and viable candidates are underway.

When asked whether interim president Judy Bonner was being considered by the committee to take over the position permanently, Reinhart said no specific names have surfaced, but noted that experience as a sitting University president, which Bonner lacks, has been discussed as one of the preferred qualifications of the University’s next president.

“Experience as a sitting president is very important, as well as being a part of a dynamic, growing campus,” she said. “Somebody who is really student centered is also extremely important.”

Reinhart said the major accomplishments of the committee’s first two meetings have been the in-depth discussion of the criteria necessary for the candidates they will submit to Witt, as well as the procedures of the search itself.

The committee will not meet again for a work session until July, but Reinhart said they will consult students, community leaders, faculty and staff this month to gather more information about the preferred qualifications of the next president.

“The Crimson Tide Nation is letting its thoughts be heard about the kind of individual that will succeed Dr. Robert Witt,” Reinhart said.

The next stage of the search will involve developing a short list of qualified candidates which, once completed, will be presented to Witt in an unranked order. Witt will then review those individuals and make his recommendation to the Universitiy’s Board of Trustees, who will make the final decision and select the next president.

Reinhart also said Witt and the search committee welcome comments and suggestions, which can be submitted through email to Kellee Reinhart at

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Search committee discusses preferred qualifications for next UA president