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Presidential search committee: one vision from 15 people

STANFORD -- The search that resulted in the selection of Gerhard Casper as Stanford University's ninth president produced 667 candidates, hundreds of hours of meetings and an overwhelming consensus, search committee chairman John Lillie said.

"This was a committee of 15 in which our diversity became an enormous strength because the personalities and objectives came together," Lillie said. "We got to know each other extremely well as we spent hundreds of hours together in more that 20 meetings that typically were five to eight hours long.

"Not only were we discussing nominees but in the process we were honing our collective understanding of what we were looking for - qualities and abilities important to Stanford University.

"We spent a lot of time discussing criteria. We came up with 37 points under four major categories: academic, managerial, leadership and values. We used those to winnow the list. Then, after we got the list down to the general range of 50, we started to travel and began to interview leaders in higher education, not only as references but to help us understand the kind of person we were seeking."

The committee was named Oct. 28 by James C. Gaither, president of the board of trustees. In gathering advice and nominations, it: contacted Stanford faculty, alumni, staff and students through a combination of direct mail, open letters in university publications, interviews with groups and town meetings; ran ads in national newspapers and minority publications; and used letters and telephone calls to national leaders well informed on higher education.

By the close of nominations at the end of January, it had a list of 667 names to consider. Despite the size of that list, it beat by three months its charge of reporting by June to the Board of Trustees, which selects the president.

The search committee included six faculty members; six trustees, all of whom are Stanford alumni; one student; one staff member; and one non-trustee alumna:

Trustees - Lillie, Atherton; Peter S. Bing, Los Angeles; George H. Hume, San Francisco; John B. McCoy, Columbus, Ohio; Luis G. Nogales, Los Angeles; and Susan W. Prager, Los Angeles. Faculty members - James Sheehan, history, search committee vice chair and chair of the Faculty Senate; Steven Chu, physics; Joseph W. Goodman, electrical engineering; Condoleezza Rice, political science; Saul A. Rosenberg, medicine; and John B. Shoven, economics. (Sheehan and Goodman also are Stanford alumni.)

Student - Kasi Allen Fuller, doctoral candidate in education.

Staff member - James A. Larimore, assistant dean of student affairs and director of the American Indian Program Office and of the Native American Cultural Center.

Alumna - Beverly P. Ryder, Los Angeles.



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