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EWU search team set to find new president

Six months after the announcement that Eastern Washington University President Stephen Jordan was leaving, the university has formed a search committee and hired a recruiting firm and is preparing to advertise the opening.

But a new president likely won’t be on campus until next summer – and a couple of other top administrative hires will probably come after that.

Gordon Budke, chairman of the search committee, said the panel is finalizing a position description and preparing to place ads in professional publications. Applications will be taken for about a month, with an eye toward having three finalists for campus visits in December or January, Budke said.

A hiring decision by the board of trustees could be made by January, with a new president on campus by July, he said.

Jordan announced his departure in April. Budke said the search committee is proceeding at a pace that’s typical for academic hiring.

“If we’re slow or late, we’re slow or late by two weeks,” he said.

Jordan presided over a period of rebirth at Eastern, seven years during which the school reversed sliding enrollments and began signing up record numbers of students. He was known for his skill in dealing with legislators and the community and was a regular presence on campus, where he lived.

Though he wasn’t without critics – he drew complaints over his cancellation of a lecture by controversial professor Ward Churchill – many on campus say the new president ought to be at least a little bit like the old one.

“We need someone who thinks and acts like a Stephen Jordan,” said Stacey Roestel, a graduate student in computer science who is the student representative on EWU’s board of trustees.


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