reporting pixel for marketing campaign

Campus News / News

Presidential Search Committee, Search Firm Confirmed

08/31/2022 4:01 pm

With the return of students to campus, Rockford University is beginning to buzz again with energy and excitement as the new school year begins. It’s a great reminder of how important our role is in advocating for and inspiring all students who come here to start, complete, or advance their education.

As we begin the search for the university’s next leader, the Presidential Search Committee is dedicated to ensuring that our next president continues building on the tradition of pride and passion that has been an integral role of Rockford University.

The work has begun to ensure we move forward thoughtfully and proactively in the search for our next president and into our next 175 years.

Presidential Search Committee Established

Our Presidential Search Committee includes board members, alumni, donors, staff, and faculty. The committee is charged with leading a transparent, inclusive, and successful search that guarantees we identify worthy candidates to become Rockford University’s next leader. The Committee represents all factions of our University community and its needs and goals.

The Presidential Search Committee includes:

Rebecca Epperson, Chair of Rockford University Board of Trustees, Chair of Presidential Search Committee

Gina Braun, Chair of Education Department

Deb Breiter, Bergmann Chair and Professor of Chemistry; Faculty Trustee

Lesly Couper, Trustee

Anisha Grimmett, Trustee

Jason Mulligan, Director of Athletics

Andy Newgren, Associate Professor and Director of Howard Colman Library

Aaron Potter, ‘98/’09, Trustee

Jeff Potter, ’98, Trustee

Elaine Sharpe, ’75, Associate Professor of Psychology; Faculty Chair

Marci Taets, ’92, Trustee

Patti Tumilowicz, ’87, Trustee

Karen Walker, Dean of Academic Support, Center for Learning Strategies; Coordinator, Men of Color Mentorship Program

Frank Walter, Trustee

Additionally, Jennifer Cunningham, Executive Assistant to the President will serve as the principal staff of the Presidential Search Committee.


Presidential Search Firm Confirmed

To drive our search forward, we have hired Academic Search (ASI), an organization that has specialized in higher-education searches for more than 45 years. Their process and culture complement the Presidential Search Committee’s goals of an open, thoughtful, and inclusive approach to finding our next leader.

During the coming weeks, you will gain insight on the timeline, consultant visits, surveys, and meetings in which to express your insight as we begin to identify candidates. We welcome – and encourage – your involvement to ensure all voices are heard.

Our goal is to have candidate(s) named early in the next semester with an ideal timeframe to start at the beginning of our next fiscal year, July 1, 2023. However, we want the right person to fill this critical role, so if the search takes longer, we will be well suited to continue to advance Rockford University through an interim President.


Interim Search Committee/Firm Confirmed

Based on the timeline, we have taken steps to begin identifying and interviewing candidates who will provide support and play an active role on campus and in the community to advance Rockford University’s mission and strategic plan, as well as supporting faculty, staff, and students on campus.

Members of the Board of Trustees Governance Committee including former Board Chairs Joel Moore, Elizabeth Donovan, and Jim Keeling will be working with me and The Registry to identify and confirm an interim President starting in December. 

I very much look forward to this exciting and important process and welcome feedback and insight to achieve our goals together.

With RU Pride,

Rebecca Epperson

Chair, Board of Trustees