Presidential Search

Search process

From the Rector to the University and VCU Health System communities

August 28, 2008

It is my pleasure to inform you of how the Board of Visitors intends to proceed with the search for President Trani’s successor. Dr. Ed Bersoff, our immediate past rector, will chair the search committee, which will consist of 17 members: six Board of Visitors members, including the chair; five faculty members; two classified staff members; two students; and one member each from the alumni and foundation boards. I will serve as an ex-officio member. The Board engaged an adviser last spring, Dr. Stephen Portch, to work with the Board on the presidential transition and search, and Dr. Portch will assist the search committee. Also, we will be issuing an RFP soon, to identify a search firm to work with the search committee.

I am writing the stakeholder groups asking for nominations for individuals to serve on the search committee. I anticipate that the search committee will be established by the end of September, and I will write again to let the University and Health System communities know of the members on the committee. We will have a presidential search Web site, and I will write about that in my next e-mail as well. A biographical statement for Dr. Portch will be posted on the Web site.

The search committee will engage the University and Health System communities in seeking input about VCU’s next president. There will be a series of town hall meetings over the next month and a half, and there will also be a place on the Web site for comments. I will send details on all of this in the near future.

The Board hopes to announce President Trani’s successor prior to the end of the spring semester, 2009. As the University and Health System communities know, Dr. Trani has been a brilliant president for the University, and president and chair of the VCU Health System. It will be a daunting task to identify VCU’s next president, but the Board is confident that the search process — through diligent and collaborative work — will result in the successful effort to appoint VCU’s fifth president.

I also look forward to communicating with you this year about events which will honor President Trani. The 2008-09 academic year will be an extremely busy one, and I look forward to working with you on our shared goals.


Tom Rosenthal, Rector