An international search for the rector of a non-state university should not be confused with an election for public office. To ensure that the best candidates apply for the position, the EHU Search Committee is required to play by generally accepted rules for an international search for an academic leader, which EHU is undertaking for the first time in its history.
Key stakeholder groups within EHU are linked to the process through their elected officers: Chairman of the Senate, President of the Students Union and EHU alumni representative to the GB, as are members of the EHU Administration, and the President of EHU, Anatoli Mikhailov. The actual processes of candidate screening, credential reviews, personal interviews, professional reference checks, and frank discussions with candidates must be conducted in an atmosphere that respects the right to privacy of all candidates (all of whom hold other positions) and of the overarching need for confidentiality in the proceedings themselves. The Committee recognizes the legitimate interests of the community in knowing about the search, and has published periodic reports to the community on the EHU Website. As with most nongovernmental universities in the world, ultimate authority for selecting and appointing the next rector rests with the EHU Governing Board and the Part-Owners.
The Search Committee has made every attempt to observe these widely recognized international principles, despite a high level of internal and external media attention at all stages of the search process. The Rector position was announced widely (in 4 languages) in early October and we are grateful that a remarkable group of candidates from 7 countries applied for the position, and, in particular, to the 7 finalists who were invited to visit Vilnius in mid-December to meet with our students, faculty, senior administrators, and the Search Committee. More than 120 EHU students and faculty took part in the December meetings, the results of which were then reported to the Committee by the elected student and faculty leaders.
As the focus of the search narrows in the final two months of the search, the Committee has reached out to individual candidates both by telephone and in writing with further questions and points of clarification, while contacting scholars, professionals and educational leaders in many countries who serve as references for the candidates now under consideration.
The Search Committee, which consists exclusively of senior academic leaders from Sweden, UK, Denmark and the US, will make its recommendation to the full Governing Board in February. The Governing Board will vote on the recommendation before sending it on to the Part-Owners for final review and ratification. Results of the search are expected to be announced to the community no later than March 1, 2015.
Prof. Dan Davidson, Chair of the Search Committee
Anne Lonsdale, Member of the Search Committee
Prof. Henrik Toft Jensen, Member of the Search Committee
Prof. Gregory Prince, Member of the Search Committee
Prof. Daniel Tarschys, Member of the Search Committee
January 26, 2015