UK names presidential search committee, plans new dorm

Board also approves $30 million plan for new residence hall

ctruman@herald-leader.comOctober 13, 2010 

University of Kentucky trustees chairman Britt Brockman on Tuesday named the members of the search committee to select a replacement for President Lee T. Todd Jr., who will retire in June. And trustees approved a plan for a $30 million residence hall project that could open as early as the fall semester of 2012.

The residence hall will add 350 to 400 new beds for students who live on campus and was authorized by the 2010 special session of the Kentucky General Assembly. It will feature a two-bedroom design with a shared bathroom. UK has not settled on a site for the new dormitory.

There are now 5,128 beds on campus. UK has not added a residence hall since August 2004.

Meanwhile, UK has set an ambitious pace for finding a new president, whom it hopes to select by the start of May.

The presidential search committee will be led by board member Jim Stuckert, Brockman said.

The committee also will include board members Jo Hern Curris, Pamela May, Billy Joe Miles, Terry Mobley and Everett McCorvey; Myra Tobin, an alumni representative; faculty members Sheldon Steiner of the biology department, Hollie Swanson of the department of pharmacology and chair of the University Senate; and Lee Meyer, a member of the department of agricultural economics.

Student representatives will be Ben Taylor Cox and Ryan Smith. A representative for staff members at UK has not yet been named.

A contract for a search firm to help in the process should be awarded by Dec.1, Brockman said, and off-campus interviews of semifinalists should be held in March, with finalists' interviews in April.

Brockman said the search committee will identify criteria for the new president at a retreat Oct. 24. Laying out any crucial characteristics the committee is searching for is "a little premature," he said.

Stuckert, chairman of the search committee, said the committee will look for a UK president who is "all the best." He said the timeline for selecting the new president is ambitious, but "hopefully, some things will be done earlier, some will be done later."

A Web site — Uky.edu/presidentialsearch — is being developed for updated information on the search.

A grant and a pledge

The board also approved using an $11.5 million grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration to build a new community health center in Hazard. The center will serve Knott, Leslie and Perry counties; both Knott and Leslie counties have been recognized by the federal agency as having shortages of primary medical care.

The board accepted a $500,000 pledge from Warren Rosenthal, a UK alumnus, to go toward the Schmidt Vocal Arts Center renovation fund and to support the UK Opera Theatre program in the College of Fine Arts. Rosenthal is chair of the Schmidt Vocal Arts Center Renovation Initiative.

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