University of Akron will hold the first meeting of its presidential search committee on Friday, although the meeting will be closed to the public.

A slate of committee meetings begins at 8 a.m. with a separate closed-door session, followed by several public meetings and ending with the search committee at 1 p.m.

The search committee meeting, scheduled for 1 p.m., will be the last on the board of trustees' slate of committee meetings for the day.

The board also will review a resolution affirming freedom of speech on campus.

Agenda items for committee meetings are for discussion only. The board could then vote on any items at the June 12 business meeting.

The presidential search committee includes trustees as well as the leaders of the University Council, Faculty Senate, the Contract Professional Advisory Committee, the Staff Employee Advisory Committee, the Undergraduate Student Government and the Akron Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (Akron-AAUP).

"The selection process will remain confidential to attract the best possible pool of candidates," the university said in a news release following the board's meeting in December.

In April 2018, trustees named nationally recognized political scientist and longtime political science professor John Green as the university's interim president after former president Matthew Wilson stepped down and returned to teaching in UA's law school.

Wilson recently accepted a position as president of Missouri Western State University.

The resolution regarding speech asks the board's Academic Issues and Student Success Committee to endorse a university affirmation of freedom of speech and academic expression.

The Faculty Senate passed the resolution in April.

The resolution cites "multiple events on university campuses, and especially, political speakers and demonstrators ... which have raised questions about the status of free speech on American university campuses."

The document adapts a statement from the Committee for Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago to fit Akron.

"Because the University of Akron is committed to free and open inquiry in all matters, it guarantees all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn," the statement says.

The statement includes limitations when "necessary to the functioning of the University."

"The University of Akron may restrict expression that: violates the law, falsely defames a specific individual, constitutes a genuine threat or harassment, unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests, or is otherwise directly incompatible with the University’s functioning," the statement reads.

Committee meetings are held in the board of trustees' meeting room on the third floor of the student union at 303 Carroll St.

 

Contact Jennifer Pignolet at jpignolet@thebeaconjournal.com, at 330-996-3216 or on Twitter @JenPignolet.