Alan Hurwitz, president of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology, has been named one of four finalists to become the next president of Gallaudet University.
The announcement was made by Benjamin Soukup, chairman of Gallaudet’s board of trustees. The other finalists are Roslyn Rosen, director of the National Center on Deafness at the State University of California at Northridge; Ronald Stern, superintendent/CEO of the New Mexico School for the Deaf in Santa Fe; and Stephen Weiner, provost at Gallaudet University.
All four finalists are deaf. Gallaudet’s presidential selection made headlines in 1988, when students shut down the Washington, D.C., campus, upset that the selected next president was not deaf. Many view that protest as a watershed event for the deaf community. Irving King Jordan was then selected to become Gallaudet’s first deaf president.
Nearly 100 potential candidates were contacted about the position. Interviews were conducted and the best candidates were narrowed down to the list of four, Soukup said.
More in-depth interviews will follow with the Gallaudet’s board, as well as student and faculty groups on campus through Oct. 1. Once named in October, Gallaudet’s next president is expected to begin his or her term on Jan. 1, 2010, when current Gallaudet President Robert Davila plans to retire.
NTID and Gallaudet receive a majority of their budgets from Congress.
Hurwitz came to NTID in 1970 after working as an engineer for McDonnell-Douglas. He taught and served in various administrative positions and has headed NTID since 2003.
In an e-mail to NTID faculty and staff after the announcement was made, Hurwitz said if selected, he would ensure that a transition period would proceed as smoothly as possible.
“If I am not selected for the position, it would be my intent and extreme pleasure to continue to serve the NTID and RIT community as we move forward with our ambitious agenda,” Hurwitz said.
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