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Committees start president search

The Presidential Search and Screen Committee, the Special Regents’ Search Committee and Myers-McRae Executive Search and Consulting firm are now on the pursuit for VSU’s next president, after holding their first meeting on Sept. 8 at 1 p.m., in the University Center’s Executive Dining Room.

According to Robert Watts, an Office of the Chancellor official, the goal of the committees and executive search and consulting firm is to find a replacement for Dr. Patrick Schloss, the VSU president from June 2008 to June 2011. They hope to find a new president by July 1, 2012 for the next fiscal year.

Dr. Schloss resigned during this past spring semester to take the Assistant to Executive Vice Chancellor position with the University System of Georgia. Dr. Louis Levy, former Academic Affairs provost and vice president, is serving as the interim president until the search is complete.

There are 12 faculty and community officials, as well as one student, who make up the Presidential Search and Screen Committee. The two members of the Special Regents’ Search Committee are Regent Rutledge Griffin and Regent Donald Leebern, the committee chair.

With the help of Myers-McRae, the President Search and Screen committee will advertise the position and gather candidates nationwide, according to Emilie Myers, Myers-McRae president and CEO.

The committee will hold meetings open to the public, but their executive sessions are closed to discuss specifics about the process. Until the finalists are chosen, committee members can only discuss the applicants’ information with other members and the Board of Regents.

“We can’t find the best candidate, if we are totally open,” Watts said.

Only Dr. Holland, Henry M. Huckaby, USG chancellor, Dr. Steven Wrigley, USG executive vice chancellor and Leebern can comment officially before the final process.

After narrowing the applicants down to around 20, the members will rank them and conduct interviews to decide on three to five candidates.

Meyers advises the committee to think the process through before making its decision.

“Who’s going to fit,” Meyers said. “Who’s going to fit in Valdosta? Who’s going to fit in community? If they don’t fit, it won’t work.”

The finalists will be sent before Huckaby, Dr. Wrigley and Special Regents’ Committee for interviews. They will recommend their choice to the Board of Regents who will then make the final decision.

“(The decision will be) based on qualifications, educational background, talents and experience,” Watts said.

To start the “kick-off” meeting, as Watts puts it, he asked what everyone was looking for in the next president.

“(Someone) committed to learning,” Harrell said.

Griffin emphasizes leadership and people skills as necessary traits and thinks it is better to be overqualified then under-qualified.

“We want to hire someone we know can do the job,” he said.

Leebern is confident in the application process.

“We will have a wonderful pool of candidates,” he said.

Javaun Pye, a junior economic and finance major, hopes the new president will work to keep the campus as it is.

“(I want) quality control,” he said. “Avoid turning (VSU) into something it shouldn’t. It’s a nice campus, not too big or small, a perfect feel.”

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