Dec. 13, 2010 06:13 PM
The search for the next CEO of Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise will begin in earnest in January, according to UL Vice President of Research Robert Twilley, who is also serving as interim CEO at LITE.

The search for the next CEO of Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise will begin in earnest in January, according to UL Vice President of Research Robert Twilley, who is also serving as interim CEO at LITE.

Last month, LITE's board of commissioners voted to give Twilley and board Chairman Robert Veazey the authority to select a firm to assist with the CEO search. Twilley says he, Veazey and LITE legal counsel Steve Oats have received estimates on the cost of hiring a search firm and are now trying to weigh that against other budgetary pressures. "The three of us are moving forward formulating a very clear plan with a budget that we can handle and then go to search committee," Twilley says. "The biggest thing we're struggling with now is the budget, to fund it."

Last year, the state cut its funding for LITE by 10 percent and Twilley notes that higher education officials have been put on notice to expect more cuts in 2011. "We will definitely have a third party to help manage the search," Twilley says, "so that it is an independent process. The level of involvement of that third party, as to how many services they actually provide, is what we're fine tuning right now."

Budget constraints may also factor into the next CEO's salary  though Twilley says he doesn't want that to limit the search and plans to push for hiring the best person for the job (Twilley is not taking an additional salary for serving as LITE's interim CEO). "We certainly have to be competitive," he says, "and my experience doing this is salary is always commensurate with experience and what that person could provide. If you really find someone that you really think is the match and you really want them, you get the parties that are supporting LITE and see [what can be funded]," he says. Twilley hopes to have a new CEO hired by June and on the job by the end of 2011.