Michael K. Young

SALT LAKE CITY — A new website will aid in the search for a new University of Utah president, a quest officials say is anticipated to take about a year.

The website, www.presidentialsearch.utah.edu, will allow visitors to nominate candidates, provide commentary and input on the search process, and review feedback from public meetings.

"At this point, we're still in the very preliminary stages of beginning the search," said Holly Braithwaite, spokeswoman for the Utah System of Higher Education.

A presidential search committee has been formed, consisting of four members of the state Board of Regents, four member's of the U.'s Board of Trustees, eight U. faculty members and staffers, and four representatives from the community. The committee is in the process of choosing a consulting firm that will aid in searching nationwide for qualified people to apply for the position.

Beginning Aug. 12, 24 public meetings have been scheduled for the committee to receive input from constituents — including faculty, staff and the public — about what qualities they would like to see in a new president. A complete list, including dates and locations of the meetings, is available on the presidential search website.

"Finding a new leader for Utah's flagship university is a process in which we want to broadly invite people to be involved," said Regent Nolan Karras, chairman of the presidential search committee, in a prepared statement.

The position opened for hire after President Michael Young left in May to take the helm of the University of Washington. Young had served as president since 2004. Lorris Betz is serving as the interim president of the U. until a new leader is hired.

After securing a consulting firm, the next step for the committee will be submitting an official call for nominations and applications, followed by the beginning of constituent meetings. Eventually, the committee will conduct applicant screenings and interviews, public meetings with the finalists and, ultimately, the selection of a new president.

E-mail: mfarmer@desnews.com, Twitter: mollyfarmer