University of Akron Considering Private Search for Next President

Dec 2, 2018

The University of Akron is considering changes to its presidential search policy, which would include using a private firm to conduct the search.

If the changes are approved, it would keep the names of candidates private and inaccessible through public records laws.

Some argue a private search leads to the best candidates coming forward without fear of backlash at seeking new work.

However, Frank LoMonte, a senior legal fellow at the Student Press Law Center, says a private search has the potential to let questionable candidates slip through the cracks.

“If the search firm is saying, ‘we don’t do background checks on the candidates,’ I would tear that contract up and start with somebody else," LoMonte said. "Because, you just — it’s reckless, it’s irresponsible to put somebody in a position to be running a large, powerful government agency without doing the kind of background checking that you would do before you’d hire a dog walker.”

The university’s Board of Trustees is set to consider these changes on December 5th.

John Green has been serving as the interim president for the university since May 1st.