The University of Akron has expanded the committee that will search for a new president, but has taken steps to close the process off from public view.

University trustees approved the changes Wednesday at a regular meeting. UA had earlier announced the changes were being considered.

Previously, the search committee was made up of trustees. Now the search committee will include elected leaders of the Faculty Senate, the faculty union and the Undergraduate Student Government, among others. Members of the committee who are not trustees will have to to "sign pledges of confidentiality."

The new process no longer requires finalists to be brought to the campus to meet with various groups.

Such confidential searches are growing in number at universities. Critics say taxpayer-supported universities such as UA have a responsibility to make searches as transparent as possible.

The new process "will help attract the widest range of high quality candidates for the presidency while involving the campus community at an earlier stage and in more meaningful" ways, Board President Joseph M. Gingo said at the meeting.

UA is now being led by Interim President John Green, who will not be a candidate for the top job. A search firm will be hired to help the committee.