University of Indianapolis Interim President Phil Terry has been the acting president of the university since July 1, 2022. Terry said the Isaacson, Miller firm was hired to help with the search for a permanent president. The search started with hundreds of candidates and has been narrowed down to four finalists, Terry said.
“We have four finalists–we’re presently engaged in interviewing them again by the search committee, but now we’re adding representations from faculty and from staff and then another group of trustees,” Terry said.
UIndy English Department Assistant Professor and President of the Faculty Senate Stephen Zimmerly said that Isaacson, Miller is in the top three search firms in the country and suggested that the presidential search process remain confidential for the protection of all parties.
According to UIndy’s website, there has not been an update about the presidential search since Oct. 6, 2022. Zimmerly said that there has not been anything to update the students on. Terry said that the search is confidential, so little can be disclosed.
“It’s just more of an oversight than we’re keeping it all super secret. And also from that standpoint, any kind of update that would have been given would just be, ‘Well, we’re still looking,’” Zimmerly said.
Senior psychology major Michael Chambers said he would like the committee to take as much time as necessary to find the right fit. He said the school is in a transitional period with the loss of leadership roles throughout the university.
“We not only lost our president, we lost our dean of students, we lost an athletic director, we lost a dean within the school of psychological sciences; there’s a lot of leadership that the
school is without and I personally have the belief that leadership starts at the top,” Chambers said.
Sophomore political science major Samuel Hunt said that it is fine that the search committee is taking their time to find a permanent president because the university currently has an acting president. Hunt said if the committee goes past the unofficial deadline of the 2023-2024 academic year to appoint a president, then he would be concerned.
“I think the biggest thing is not having someone who is fully committed as the president here [that] can’t fully commit themselves to listening to all of the students’ interests and understanding the best possible routes they could be taking,” Hunt said.
The university needs someone with ambition, integrity and strategic vision for the future, Terry said. Chambers said that the new president should be able to accept criticism and be humble.
“The feedback might be a little bit more harsh, but we need someone in that role who is able to accept criticism, who is able to accept feedback and understand that they should work alongside us–just like we should be working alongside them,” Chambers said.
Terry said that they hope to have someone within the next month or two.
“We’re engaging essentially the entire community and discussions with these four finalists hoping that here within a month or two we may have identified and have made an agreement with a person to take this role,” Terry said.