Who Will Apply to be Next UK President? We May Never Know

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees had its first meeting Sunday with the consulting firm that will assist in the search for Lee Todd's replacement. Jan Greenwood of presidential search firm Greenwood/Asher told trustees that confidentiality is extremely important in finding a new leader for UK, and may ultimately affect which potential hires continue with the process.

"When President Todd was selected, we were at the front end nationally of seeing candidates begin to become very unwilling to be part of a public process at the end. Presidents had lost their jobs for looking at other university opportunities. They had also lost donor money, and they also had lost state legislative funding."

Greenwood says fewer potential hires, especially those currently in high positions, are willing to go public during the interview process.

"We can look at searches that have gone on over the past five years or so, and you can look at the pools of candidates and who the finalists were and you can see the difference. And it's not that it's better or worse if a person has been a successful president or not, it's just that the nature of candidates is different, based on the type of process that is used by a university."

Instead, younger candidates with less executive or administrative experience are generally more willing to have their name announced as a finalist.

Greenwood says it will be up to the board to decide what interview process is used, but says one option would be to meet privately with 3-5 finalists and then announce the preferred candidate to the rest of campus.

National advertising for a successor to retiring UK President Dr. Lee Todd will begin in December.