Presidential Search Committee Named

Sept. 4, 2019

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The process of identifying the 20th president of Illinois Wesleyan University is moving forward with the naming of a 12-member search committee that includes members of the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and a student.

“The transition of presidential leadership is among the most important events in the life of a University,” said Board of Trustees Chair Timothy J. Szerlong ’74. “The committee will begin its work immediately with the objective of conducting a thorough national search.”

Chairing the search committee is W. Thomas Lawrence. A 1980 Illinois Wesleyan graduate, Lawrence serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees as vice chair and is a retired tax managing partner of Ernst & Young LLP in Chicago.

In addition to Lawrence, six other trustees agreed to serve on the search committee, including: Herbert A. Getz ’77, president, Aspen Creek Partners Inc., Naperville, Ill.; Colleen Kannaday, president, Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, Normal, Ill; Michael Mason ’80, senior vice president–chief security officer, Verizon Communications, Lebanon, N.J.; Sundeep V. Mullangi ’97, managing director in investment research, PPM America, Chicago; Dr. Laura C. Randolph ’92, plastic surgeon, Bloomington, Ill.; and Steven J. Wannemacher ’73, vice chair of the board, Heritage Enterprises Inc., Bloomington, Ill.

The committee includes three members elected by the faculty: Mary Coleman, associate professor and chair of philosophy; Abigail Kerr, associate professor of psychology and chair of neuroscience; and Kevin Sullivan, associate dean of Curricular and Faculty Development, professor of religion.

Representing staff is Michael Thompson, associate vice president for institutional research, planning and evaluation. The student representative is Lok Wah Chook ’22, a nursing major from Bloomington. The University has additionally retained the services of international search firm WittKieffer.

Consistent with the University’s ongoing commitment to build an inclusive and diverse community, a non-voting Search Advocate will also serve on the committee. Sharla Brown-Ajayi, senior administrative specialist in the Provost and Dean of the Faculty Office, is serving in this capacity. The Search Advocate’s role is to identify potential instances of unconscious bias and test the validity of any assumptions that may arise from such bias.

Szerlong said, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire Illinois Wesleyan community, I want to thank those who have volunteered their time and energies to undertake this very important endeavor.”

By John Twork