HEBRON — The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees on Saturday began interviewing finalists for the school's next president, hoping to begin final deliberations early Sunday afternoon.
The trustees plan to name a single preferred candidate Sunday to replace Lee T. Todd Jr., who is retiring in June.
Most of the candidates' names have not been revealed, nor have the trustees released the number of finalists.
Eric Fingerhut, the former chancellor of Ohio's university system, was identified last week as a candidate and possible finalist. Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a UK alumnus, said he had spoken with Fingerhut about the job.
The finalists are at the Greater Cincinnati Airport Marriott or will be, Britt Brockman, chairman of the board of trustees, said Saturday afternoon. That's where they are being interviewed by the full UK board, many of whom are also on the search committee.
The interviews are taking place in a conference room. The hallway leading to the room is cordoned off from view with a black drape. The search has been conducted in extreme secrecy, with board members and search committee members signing a confidentiality agreement.
Brockman said the candidates with spouses are bringing them to sit in on the final interview.
"We are hiring a president, but board members also are interested in the dynamic between the candidates and spouses," Brockman said.
"It's a dialogue about a multitude of issues that are important to the university and the commonwealth," he said.
The panel adjourned shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday and will resume candidate interviews at 6:45 a.m. Sunday
When the trustees begin their final deliberations at 1 p.m., Brockman said he thought a consensus "should be achieved in short order."
The candidate then has a series of forums Monday with students, faculty, staff and alumni before the trustees are expected to vote to offer that person a contract Tuesday.
Brockman cautioned the trustees and search committee members when they convened Saturday that their confidentiality agreements remain intact even after the presidential search is concluded.
"Twenty years from now, when people ask you what happened in proceedings, that is still in effect," Brockman said.
He praised the search committee for finishing on schedule a search that started in September.
"We called it a very ambitious schedule," he said, "but here we are."