Boston University Trustees Begin Presidential Search Committee Selection

in News Releases, University Affairs
September 23rd, 2004

Contact: Kevin Carleton, 617/353-2240 | carleton@bu.edu
Contact: Nancy Sterling, 617-348-1811 |

(Boston) – The Boston University Board of Trustees today voted to take the first step in a two-part process to create a presidential search committee. The fifteen-person group will consist of trustees, deans, faculty, and alumni, ensuring that various groups within the university community are represented in the university’s quest for a new leader.

The committee will be chaired by David D’Alessandro, Chairman and CEO of John Hancock, and the Vice Chairman will be Robert Knox, Senior Managing Director of Cornerstone Equity Investors, LLC.

Along with D’Alessandro and Knox, five trustees today were appointed by the full Board to be members of the search committee, with Board Chairman Alan Leventhal serving ex officio. The five Trustees are Suzanne Cutler, David Myers, Sharon Ryan, Richard Shipley, and Marshall Sloane. The group named today will immediately begin the second part of the process, reaching out to deans, faculty, students, and others to select the remaining seven members of the search committee to represent those constituencies.

“This committee will encompass the Boston University community,” said Chairman Leventhal, “and I have no doubt they will succeed in identifying numerous outstanding candidates to lead this institution into its next phase of growth and development.”

In May of this year, the Board of Trustees named a special committee to determine the best practices of a presidential search process. Chaired by Board Vice Chairman Knox, that committee met numerous times during the summer and presented its findings to the Board today for a full discussion and vote. Special Committee members reviewed presidential search processes at other colleges and universities, and obtained advice from executive search experts. The group interviewed more than thirty current and past members of the Board of Trustees and solicited input from others in the broader Boston University community. The result will be a diverse search committee, which, once formally convened, will conduct a systematic, well-organized and inclusive search for a new leader.

Since November of 2003, the university has been led by President ad interim Dr. Aram V. Chobanian, who had been Dean of the Medical School and Provost of the Medical Campus before assuming his current role. Chobanian is not a candidate for the long-term presidency and has recently returned to his full-time presidential duties after a brief absence following successful cardiac surgery.

The Trustees also voted D’Alessandro as co-Vice Chairman of the Board, joining fellow Vice Chairman Robert Knox.

Boston University, with an enrollment of more than 29,000 in its 17 schools and colleges, is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States. The university offers an exceptional grounding in the liberal arts, a broad range of programs in the arts, sciences, engineering, and professional areas, and state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and research.

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