The Board of Trustees held a 2.5-hour executive session on Wednesday concerning personnel actions regarding the president of the university that involved closed doors and raised voices. There were rumors — which eventually were proven false — going around that maybe Randy Dunn would be fired at the meeting. Instead, we found out that the university had decided to use AGB Search, LLC. to conduct the university’s upcoming presidential search.
We knew that AGB would honor their contract and perform the search for free last week. The announcement that its services would be retained came Wednesday. But it wasn’t a surprise that the Board decided to use AGB again — it makes sense to use a company that’s offering a $65,000 service for free.
Something doesn’t feel quite right, though. Raised voices aren’t typically used when deciding what company will perform a task for free. It shouldn’t take 2.5 hours to decide to use a search firm that’s honoring a past contract. Sure, it might take some time if the proper rules of order are followed, but 2.5 hours seems long to us.
We won’t know what was said in that executive session, but we hope that the Board of Trustees considered, at the very least, letting go of Dunn. Firing a president is something that would warrant raised voices and 2.5 hours of executive session, even more so when the two people that would most likely serve as interim president — Provost Ikram Khawaja and Vice President of Finance and Administration Eugene Grilli — aren’t around. Khawaja is currently in Pakistan and plans to retire on June 30, and Grilli accepted a position at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia.
After the meeting, Board of Trustees chair Sudershan Garg said that the university is operating day-by-day, and that if Dunn decides he wants to leave before his resignation date of Aug. 16 that they would find a solution to make it work.
All we can say is that we hope action is taken soon and that the university can move forward from here.