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October 9, 2015

AAUP: Miami U making a big mistake

Putting three elected faculty on the search committee and swearing them to secrecy – they will be asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement – does not represent an open process in which the input of all members of the university community is considered. It does not suggest that the board takes shared governance seriously. Faculty should be widely consulted and have input in all important decisions at the institution. They do the work that is central to the university’s core mission – instruction and research – and they know a lot about the qualifications and commitments a president should have.

The board’s decision does not reflect the norm in Ohio. Presidential searches conducted in the recent past at Bowling Green, Toledo and Akron have been open processes in which finalists were brought to campus and required to meet with faculty and students. There are no special circumstances that justify the Miami board’s secretive process. Transparency and honesty, especially at a public institution of higher education, should be of the utmost importance.

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