Douglas Beck, co-chair of the U of I search panel, says the committee is gathering names of prospective candidates over the summer.
"We will interview some set of semi-finalists some time mid-way through the fall and eventually make a recommendation to the board of trustees of some set of finalists, probably late in the semester. So in the roughly December time-frame."
The U of I is paying Atlanta based Parker Executive Search 175 thousand dollars to assist with the hiring process. Beck says the university has worked with the company in the past.
Town-hall style meetings are being held on the three campuses to gather input. President Easter will leave the job next summer.