- Associated Press - Monday, April 4, 2016

URBANA, Ill. (AP) - University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign President Timothy Killeen wants to keep candidates’ identities secret after he initially said the finalists for chancellor might sit through public interviews.

University spokesman Tom Hardy said Killeen has decided many potential candidates would not apply for the job if their identities were made public.

Last fall, Killeen said he would consider having finalists make public presentations in an effort to make it “a very open, transparent process,” The (Champaign) News-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1MNYCvQ ) reported. Hardy said Killeen had since consulted with potential candidates and reviewed past searches at the university.

“This is a high-level recruitment effort. The president knows a lot of people within higher education and is contacting potential candidates himself. And he was told by some that they would probably not put their name forward if it was a public search,” Hardy said.

Committee chairwoman Antoinette Burton said Killeen had the final say in whether the search should be confidential.

“We had some conversations about it. We’re aware that there are people on campus who have strong feelings one way or the other. We talked about all the pros and cons, and represented the pros and cons from our point of view to the president. Ultimately, he’s the decider,” Burton said.

The chancellor is the top administrator at the campus. Barbara Wilson has been interim chancellor since Phyllis Wise resigned last summer over a variety of controversies on campus.

“This is a really high-level job, and there are all kinds of protocols around searches … for these kinds of positions,” Burton said. “He’s just following best practices.”

Killeen is the official in charge of the university system and its three campuses.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, https://www.news-gazette.com

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