The search is on for TRU’s next president

Alan Shaver's term as university president set to end in August 2018

TRU President Alan Shaver (FILE PHOTO)

Thompson Rivers University is looking for its next president. Current president Alan Shaver’s term will expire a year from now on August 31, 2018.

When his term is finished, Shaver will have overseen TRU for eight of its 13 years as a full university. Previously, the University College of the Cariboo (since 1988) had university-college status.

TRU’s senate will be appointing members to a search committee over the next month. Five faculty members, one staff member, one student, four administrators, three board of governors members and one representative jointly appointed by the Alumni Association and TRU Foundation will make up the committee to search for a new president.

Those interested in filling one of the search committee positions can complete a nomination form and submit it to Angela Biro, support secretary for the senate steering committee. She can be reached at abiro@tru.ca, and applications are due on or before Sept. 12.

The committee is set to have its first meeting on Oct. 9.

The hunt for a new president may also involve a search consultant – an executive search firm that would assist the search committee and a national advertising campaign.

Shaver was reappointed president in 2015 following an open survey reviewing his performance. That survey garnered more than 300 responses, but the results were not released. One public source of comment was TRU Faculty Association (TRUFA) president Tom Friedman, who said that there was a level of mistrust between faculty and administrators that had not been remedied, and that more transparency was needed.

Following his reapointment, Shaver told the Omega in January 2015, “There are people on campus that are not happy with their knowledge and engagement with what’s going on, and so I have to do something about that and I’m determined to do something about that. We have to work as a team.”

But in April 2016, a confidence vote by TRUFA revealed that 81 per cent of faculty had no confidence in senior administration, and named Shaver as one of the six senior administrators.

The vote was intended to get the university administration to open up and communicate more with university stakeholders, something TRU responded to by holding its inaugural town hall meeting months later in September 2016. Friedman called that meeting “a very important step” in restoring trust and collegiality between faculty and administration.

That inaugural town hall will be followed up with another this fall on Tuesday, Sept. 26.