/ The Daily OrangeThe Nancy Cantor Files
Syracuse University begins its search for next chancellor
About two weeks after Nancy Cantor’s announcement to leave her position as Syracuse University’s chancellor in 2014, plans to find SU’s 12th chancellor are in progress.
Richard Thompson, chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Bruce Carter, chair of University Senate’s Agenda Committee, have been in touch regarding forming the search committee, although a concrete timeline and membership for the committee is still being decided.
The search is expected to take several months and Thompson said SU has “plenty of time” to find a new chancellor.
Forming and preparing for the search committee could take about a month. The Board of Trustees formally establishes the search committee, which according to university bylaws must have “appropriate representation to students, faculty, exempt staff and trustees,” after consulting with the agenda committee on representation.
Cantor announced on Oct. 12 her plans to leave the university when her contract expires in 2014. She became SU’s 11th chancellor in 2004 and has led the university for nearly a decade with a focus on expanding the SU name worldwide and strengthening the ties to the city through programs such as the Connective Corridor.
Cantor said she does not plan on being involved in the search committee. Cantor will be consulted during the process and Thompson said he would like to find a candidate who matches Cantor’s commitment to the university.
“We certainly will talk with her about the process because that’s important not only for the university, but also to sustain her legacy,” Thompson said.
University officials have said Cantor has given the search committee a generous amount of time to find the next chancellor. Kenneth “Buzz” Shaw, who served as SU’s 10th chancellor from 1991 to 2004, announced he would retire a little more than a year ahead of time.
The search committee that resulted in finding Cantor began in June 2003 and took about eight months, said Joe Lampe, former chairman of the SU Board of Trustees and chair of the 11th chancellor search committee. Lampe said the search committee was formed “rather quickly.”
“It took probably a week or 10 days to get it all done because we wanted to start the search,” he said. The committee also hired a consultant from Korn/Ferry International, a consulting and recruiting firm for leadership positions in business and higher education, to assist in the process.
In the bylaws governing the University Senate and Board of Trustees, chancellor search procedures are laid out, but with enough flexibility that each search can and will vary. Bylaws call for “appropriate representation” from various university bodies, but do not dictate a specific number of committee members.
During the process to find the 11th chancellor, Lampe said there were between 30 and 35 people who wanted to apply for an interview. The group was narrowed down to about 20 individuals who all had a background as either the leader or secondary leader of a university in the East or Midwest, and interviews were done with the committee to find the top four candidates, Lampe said.
“It’s kind of difficult. You’re looking for someone who you’re obviously going to have a relatively long-term contract with,” Lampe said. He said most university chancellors remain at a university for between five and 10 years.
Cantor was among the top four candidates and interviewed again with the committee before being voted as the top choice by the committee. Six months after beginning the search, Lampe approached Cantor about taking the position. She accepted and about another month was spent working out details before the Board of Trustees officially voted for Cantor and announced the decision in February 2004.
Lampe said looking back, Cantor was the right decision for the university because her appointment was made by the “consensus of the committee.” He said members of the search committee originally suggested Cantor and the specialist from Korn/Ferry International inquired about her interest in working at SU before she applied.
Although Lampe’s search committee was able to find the 11th chancellor in under a year, he had only one piece of advice for the current board members:
Timeline for Nancy Cantor’s Appointment
The University Senate and Board of Trustees each have bylaws regarding the process of finding a chancellor. Although Kenneth “Buzz” Shaw and Nancy Cantor have announced their departures at different times in their tenures, former Chairman of the Board of Trustees Joe Lampe says he expects the process to be similar.
|April 2003||Kenneth “Buzz” Shaw announces he will leave his position as 10th chancellor at SU in 2004.|
|June 2003||A search committee to find the next chancellor, formed through the Board of Trustees with input from the University Senate’s agenda committee, begins its search. Then- Chairman of the Board of Trustees Joe Lampe heads the committee.|
|December 2003||Six months after beginning its search, the committee has interviewed about 20 candidates. After narrowing these candidates down to the top four favorites, more interviews are done before the committee votes for Nancy Cantor.|
|February 2004||After the Board of Trustees finalizes the decision to choose Cantor and a contract is decided on, university officials announce Cantor will serve as the 11th chancellor.|
|May 2004||Shaw attends his final commencement as chancellor.|
|July 2004||Cantor officially leaves her position as chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.|
|August 2004||Shaw officially retires and Cantor begins serving as chancellor.|
— Editor in Chief Mark Cooper and News Editor Marwa Eltagouri contributed reporting to this article.
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