Presidential Search FAQs

What is the timeframe for the presidential selection process?
The search process is expected to take several months and conclude in spring 2023. We expect AU's next president to begin on or around the beginning of the 2023-2024 academic year.

Who makes the final decision as to who will be selected as president?
The Aurora University Board of Trustees will charge the search committee to recommend a small number of finalists with substantiation of the committee’s conclusions that the candidates meet the criteria originally set forth in the leadership profile. The Board of Trustees ultimately makes the final decision.

How was the membership of the search committee determined?
The search committee represents a cross section of the AU community, including trustees, faculty, administrators, students, and staff.

How will the AU community be informed about the progress of the search?
Updates from the search committee will be posted on the presidential search website periodically.

What type of candidate is the search committee seeking?
The search committee will prepare a comprehensive leadership profile that outlines the criteria they will be using to evaluate candidates.

How will the AU community be able to provide input into the process?
Beginning in October, members of the committee and the search firm will meet with AU constituents in a range of venues from large forums to Zoom meetings, small group meetings, or one-on-one conversations to elicit their input into the search process. In addition, the committee will sponsor an electronic survey, which all members of the community can access. More information about the meetings will be forthcoming and will be posted here. The input gathered at the meetings and through the survey will be incorporated into the documents that the committee and search firm will use to market the position to prospective candidates.

How are prospective candidates identified?

  1. Nominations. Anyone interested in nominating a potential candidate can submit that person's name to
  2. Advertisements. Advertisement announcing the role will be posted online beginning in late fall in locations such as the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, Diverse Jobs, Hispanic Outlook, Women in Higher Education, Insight into Diversity, Vet Jobs, and the search firm’s website.
  3. Recruiting strategy. The search firm will work closely with the search committee to design a recruiting strategy that targets ideal and aspirational candidates who meet or exceed the criteria established by the committee. The firm will then reach out to a broad, diverse national pool of sources and potential candidates to encourage their application.

How will the committee ensure that we attract a diverse pool of candidates?
Our presidential search will embody the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We will do this by modeling these values throughout the search process, from the appointment of the search committee to the language in the position profile, advertising and recruitment strategy, and an inclusive, affirmative approach to candidate review, evaluation, and selection. We will seek leaders from institutions that have had great success not only in cultivating diverse faculty and attracting a diverse student body, but also in developing programs that strengthen awareness and inclusiveness across campus and in the community.

Who makes the decisions about which candidates to move forward?
The search committee will decide which candidates advance in the process.

Who is the search firm?
WittKieffer has been selected as the search firm to assist with our presidential search.

What is the role of the search firm?
The search firm will serve as a partner to the search committee to facilitate a smooth process and generate an outstanding pool of candidates. The firm helps identify potential candidates; reaches out to potential candidates to determine interest; conducts research and due diligence on candidates; and supports AU staff and committee members in search planning and logistics. The firm also serves as an important resource to the Board of Trustees in ensuring a smooth transition to new leadership.

Who will interview the final candidates?
The search committee will be responsible for reviewing candidate backgrounds, interviewing candidates, narrowing the candidate pool and, ultimately, recommending finalists to the Board of Trustees for their review. The committee has not yet determined what the final stages of the search process will look like.