Members of Presidential Search Committee Select Emn/Witt/Kieffer to Lead Hunt for New UB President

By Arthur Page

Release Date: May 16, 2003 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The members of the University at Buffalo Presidential Search Advisory Committee, the group responsible for the national search to identify UB's next president, met for the first time on May 13. The purpose of the meeting was to begin work with well-known search firm EMN/Witt/Kieffer, the firm engaged to assist with the presidential selection process.

The 17-member committee was formed in March to assist and advise in the recommendation of candidates to the UB Council. The new president will replace President William R. Greiner, who announced in January that he is stepping down as the 13th president of UB, a position that he has held since 1991. While Greiner said he would retire as UB's chief executive officer effective June 30, he has agreed to stay on until a successor has been named.

The committee is focused solely on the task of identifying and then recruiting the very best candidates for this important position. The search is open to all qualified candidates, both from within UB and outside the university.

Jean Dowdall, Ph.D., a consultant with EMN/Witt/Kieffer, will assist the committee with the search process. At the meeting, Dowdall discussed the search process, timeline and the role of her firm in the process.

"The search is being conducted with every intention of recruiting outstanding candidates from the very best universities in this country, and there will be aggressive efforts made to identify candidates that may not, at this time, be considering a move to Buffalo," commented Dowdall.

While the committee's work is well underway, it expects to continue throughout the summer in order to recommend candidates to the UB Council by Fall 2003. While fall was set as a preliminary goal, the committee discussed the importance of using the deadline as a guide and focusing on its overall mission of finding the best person to lead UB into the future without limitations or restrictions on the scope of the search.

Dowdall explained, "The search really has two fundamental components, both equally important. First, we must find the right candidate with the best qualifications and drive to lead

UB. Second, we must then recruit them and persuade them that UB is right for them. In addition, this all must be done in confidence to ensure that the candidates we are approaching are not put in career jeopardy. It's a difficult and time-consuming process, but the committee is focused on their mission and determined to find the best and the brightest leader."

Jeremy M. Jacobs, chair of the UB Council and chair of the UB Presidential Search Advisory Committee, stated, "This committee has an incredibly important task at hand -- to find a visionary leader who will continue to help UB achieve even greater success in the future," he added. "Our timeline is aggressive, but we have a great group of committed professionals focused on finding the very best leader for this world-class university."

The Presidential Search Advisory Committee was established by the UB Council to solicit and evaluate nominations and applications for the president's position according to guidelines established by the SUNY Board of Trustees.

After the committee makes a recommendation to the UB Council, it will make a final recommendation to Chancellor King. The SUNY Trustees must approve the appointment of UB's 14th president.

The committee was formed based on the State University of New York Guide to Presidential Searches at State Operated Institutions. The complete list of search committee members and other search information is available at the Presidential Search Web site: The search committee's recommendation must be endorsed by the UB Council and submitted to the chancellor and the State University of New York Trustees, who appoint the next UB President.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 26,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students pursue their academic interests through more than 100 undergraduate programs, 112 master's programs and 98 doctoral-level programs. It offers the only degrees in law, pharmacy and architecture in the SUNY system, and is the home of the only comprehensive public school of engineering in New York State. UB's athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division I level. To learn more about UB, go to

The State University of New York is the largest university system in the United States with a total enrollment of 403,000 students in 6,400 fields of study on 64 campuses. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit