CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The search for a new chancellor for Southern Illinois University Carbondale has been suspended.
According to SIUC, the preferred candidate, Oregon State University Executive Vice President and Provost Sabah Randhawa, withdrew from consideration.
"After several days of conversation and ongoing negotiation, Dr. Randhawa decided to end his candidacy," SIU President Randy Dunn said. "He was very gracious and expressed his appreciation for the opportunity."
Dunn said the university offered a strong, competitive package and that while there was no single issue that led to Randhawa's withdrawal, concern over the state's fiscal condition was a contributing factor.
"These are major decisions for candidates as well as institutions, and it is often during the final phases of the process that decisions become clear based on the unique interests of the candidate and the unique nature of the institution," Dunn said.
Dunn said that the search is suspended until the Board of Trustees can discuss next steps at its next regular meeting, scheduled for July 16 at the School of Medicine in Springfield. Meanwhile, he will continue to act in dual roles as chancellor of the university as well as president of the system.
"I will continue to work closely with the university's strong administrative team to address budget challenges and position the university for its next chancellor," he said. "I have every confidence that with the ongoing leadership of the provost, vice chancellors, executive cabinet, deans and others we will stay on course.
"Ultimately, the board and I believe that we should be able to attract a chancellor with deep, rich and proven administrative experience in areas of critical importance to the university's future -- including fundraising, community and regional engagement, and recruitment and retention – given the challenges ahead," he added.
The chancellor's position became vacant after the unexpected death of Interim Chancellor Paul Sarvela in November 2014
The committee reviewed 30 nominations and applications and identified four finalists for consideration.
In addition to Randhawa, finalists who interviewed on campus included Pam Benoit, executive vice president and provost at Ohio University, who withdrew from consideration in May; Susan M. Ford, acting provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at SIU; and Lawrence Schovanec, provost and senior vice president at Texas Tech University.