Search for new Weber State president could take a year; committee being formed

Wednesday , February 07, 2018 - 5:00 AM

SERGIO MARTÍNEZ-BELTRÁN
Standard-Examiner

Utah System of Higher Education has announced a rough timeline for Weber State University’s presidential search.

David Buhler, Utah System of Higher Education commissioner, said Tuesday, Feb. 6, at a board of trustees meeting that the search to replace Weber State President Charles Wight could take up to a year.

“We don’t have a firm timeline,” Buhler said. “The objective is to make sure that we find a superb president to lead Weber State in the future.”

The first step, Buhler said, is to name a search committee composed of 20-24 people, with four members of the Board of Regents and four members of Weber State University Board of Trustees. The rest of the committee will be comprised of community members, faculty and students.

The committee will be co-chaired by Board of Regents member Jesselie Anderson and Weber State’s Board of Trustees Chair Nolan Karras.

Buhler said he expects to have a search committee named by the end of February.

 'A remarkable leader:' Charles Wight steps down as Weber State president

By March, Buhler said, he would like the search committee to have its first meeting. A second meeting will follow with members of the community.

“We hope to have some public meetings at least sometime in the spring to get input on the attributes they feel are important as the search committee looks for a president,” Buhler said.

Geoffrey Landward, Utah System of Higher Education assistant commissioner, will be in charge of helping the search committee. The Board of Regents will be represented by members Cristina Ortega, Robert Marquardt and Marlin Jensen.

Buhler said the search typically lasts nine months before the Board of Regents hires a new president.

“We’ll take the time that is necessary,” Buhler said. “It could be a little longer or a little shorter.”

Buhler said Board of Regents Chair Daniel Campbell would like Weber State to have an interim president by May 1.

Wight announced Jan. 18 at a faculty senate meeting that he was stepping down after five years at the helm of the university, telling faculty he was being considered in presidential searches across the country.

On Tuesday, Wight told university trustees he is still being considered and that he is unavailable to confirm where he is headed next.

He said he will resign from his tenured-faculty position once he gets hired at another institution.

“If my search is not successful, then one of the options that will be available to me will be to stay home and teach at Weber State,” Wight said. “I hope that the trustees would be supportive if that’s the decision that I come to later on.”

Contact education reporter Sergio Martínez-Beltrán at smartinezbeltran@standard.net or 801-625-4274. Follow him on Twitter @SergioMarBel and like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/STANDARDEXSergio.

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