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Lillie to chair 15-member Stanford presidential search committee

STANFORD -- John M. Lillie, president and chief operating officer of American President Companies and a Stanford University trustee, will chair a 15-member committee to search for Stanford's ninth president.

James J. Sheehan, chair of the faculty senate, will be vice chair of the committee, which will seek a successor to Donald Kennedy, who announced in July that he would step down, effective August 1992.

The committee members - six trustees, six faculty members, one student, one staff member and one alumna - were selected by Board of Trustees President James Gaither from nominations by organizations of their peers. Gaither announced their names Monday, Oct. 28.

The committee was to begin work with meetings Monday afternoon and Nov. 14. Its charge is to report to the trustees in time for the board to name a new president no later than the end of the spring quarter.

"Our directive is to complete our deliberations by June, but we will set a schedule to complete our work earlier than that - perhaps a couple of months earlier," Lillie said.

"We had a get-acquainted dinner Sunday night and found that we have a very diverse yet very compatible group. We all share a common objective of finding the best possible person in the world for this job and a common concern for the welfare of this great institution."

The committee's early agenda includes developing its schedule and deciding such questions as whether to employ an outside search agency. The position will be widely advertised, Lillie said, with the committee developing detailed selection criteria in time to begin examining candidates.

While Gaither said that some unsolicited nomination letters already had been received, the committee leaders emphasized that the field is wide open and no list of candidates has even been begun.

"I've had someone say, 'It's obvious who your next president is going to be,' " Sheehan said. "And I said to myself, 'Gee, I wonder who that is?' I think you'd have to be a fool to get involved in a process that's going to take thousands of hours of your time when you know the answer before you begin."

Lillie also said that while the committee would do its best to maintain two-way communication with Stanford constituencies, it would not release names of candidates.

"We will be very open about our process and open to suggestion," he said. "But in order to attract the very best nominees, we have to be able to assure them of confidentiality so that their candidacy will not cause them problems where they are."

Names that could be, and were, given out were the members of the search committee. The trustees on the committee, all alumni, and their Stanford degrees are:

The faculty members on the committee were selected from nominations by the faculty senate and in consultation with the Advisory Board. They, and their Stanford degrees, are:

The student member will be Kasi Allen Fuller of San Francisco, who earned her bachelor's degree at Stanford in 1986 and is a doctoral candidate in the School of Education. She was chosen from nominees submitted by the Associated Students of Stanford University.

The staff member on the committee will be James A. Larimore, assistant dean of student affairs and director of the American Indian Program Office and of the Native American Cultural Center. He was selected in consultation with the Management Development Program from nominations by deans, vice presidents and the School Management Group.

Completing the committee is alumna Beverly P. Ryder of Los Angeles (bachelor's '72), a business consultant and vice president of the Stanford Associates volunteer fundraisers. She was selected from nominations made by the Stanford Alumni Association board.

Jean Fetter, immediate past dean of undergraduate admissions, will handle day-to-day operations as executive vice chair of the committee. Alana Wilson, human resources manager for administrative resources, will be the staff director for the search. Beverly Pharr, office manager of the Stanford Data Center, will be the committee's administrative assistant.

Gaither praised the nominating groups and the resulting membership of the search committee.

"I can't imagine a process having worked better in terms of producing such a high quality of candidates for the committee and of people who care about this university," he said.

"We all share one common objective: to identify and attract the finest person in the world to lead Stanford into the first years of its second century, and to maintain and enhance the university's excellence.

"There is nothing more important to the future of Stanford than the successful outcome of the search committee's work. The Board of Trustees is grateful for both the distinction of the members of the committee and their ready willingness to add this service to their contributions to the university."

All segments of the Stanford community, as well as people in higher education and other fields nationwide, will be consulted and asked for nominations and advice, Gaither and Lillie said.

"The key is we want input and we want to encourage participation," Lillie said. "I would encourage the community to approach committee members. We have a very diverse committee and I would expect that there is someone on it that anyone could feel comfortable approaching."

Gaither said that nominations, information and advice could be sent to Presidential Search Committee, P.O. Box 2310, Stanford, CA 94309- 2310.



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