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Despite virus outbreak, search for SIU chancellor continues

March 18, 2020 GMT

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — The search for a chancellor at Southern Illinois University will continue despite the coronavirus outbreak.

The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale reports SIU President Dan Mahony has told school supporters a search committee has been screening candidates for the past two months and recently settled on finalists.

Mahony said the coronavirus pandemic will limit large face-to-face participation in campus interviews of finalists. Typically, chancellor candidates meet with various public interest groups on campus to introduce themselves and answer questions.

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“It’s just not business as usual, but we must move ahead with the search because it is in the long-term interest of the university community,” Mahony said. “The campus needs permanent leadership, as soon as possible, and delaying the search could result in us losing some of our strong candidates.”

Board of Trustees chairman Phil Gilbert has said he hoped the board would hire a new chancellor at its April meeting. However in an email, university spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith told the Southern Illinoisan there is no timetable for hiring a chancellor given public health concerns.

The person selected for the job will replace interim chancellor John Dunn, who took the post in December 2018 after the death of Chancellor Carlo Montemagno.