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Search Achieved Timetable and Goals

A busy schedule and outreach throughout the campus and community assisted the Presidential Search Committee in identifying the university's next president in a timely fashion.

Date: 9/9/2009 12:00:00 AM
By: Greg Hand
Phone: (513) 556-1822

UC ingot   Launched with an ambitious timetable, the University of Cincinnati Presidential Search Committee identified a candidate right on schedule. The committee recommended Gregory H. Williams, currently president of The City College of New York, to UC's Board of Trustees on Sept. 9.

On March 17, the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees took three significant steps leading to the selection of the next president of the university.

The trustees selected Monica Rimai to serve as interim president and to maintain the momentum the university had built up through its recent initiatives.

H.C. Buck Niehoff
Search Chair H.C. Buck Niehoff

Board Chair H.C. Buck Niehoff appointed the committee to identify and recommend the next president of the University of Cincinnati. The committee began its work at an inaugural meeting March 30, and was asked to identify a candidate before the end of the calendar year.

Finally, the trustees selected Heidrick & Struggles, an international, premier provider of executive search and leadership consulting services, to assist the search process. It was this search firm that assisted in the recruitment of President Zimpher in 2003.

The search committee, chaired by Niehoff, included:

  • C. Francis Barrett, president of the Cincinnati law firm of Barrett & Weber
  • Sandra W. Heimann, vice president of American Financial Group
  • Marla Hall, chair, University of Cincinnati Faculty
  • Stephen T. Kowel, professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Diana Hechavarria, a member of the Graduate Student Governance Association
  • Janelle Wichmann, a member of the undergraduate Student Government Association
  • Valerie Gray Hardcastle, dean of the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences
  • David Stern, dean of the College of Medicine
  • John A. West, judge, Hamilton County Common Pleas Court
  • Jeffrey P. Williams, a representative from the UC Foundation
  • Chad P. Wick was selected by Chancellor Eric Fingerhut to represent the University System of Ohio
  • Jeff Wyler, immediate past chairperson of the UC Board of Trustees
  • Steve Simendinger, president of the UC Alumni Association

The committee devoted a month to a series of open forums, allowing faculty, alumni, students, staff, the Cincinnati community and donors to express opinion about the qualities needed in the new president. Based on the comments collected at these forums, the search committee compiled a detailed position description.

More than 120 individuals were nominated for the position. The committee recommended a single candidate to the Board of Trustees.

Records of the committee’s meetings and deliberations may be found here: