Search for USM president kicks off
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 00:09
The search is on to find the next president of the University of Southern Mississippi, and Institutions of Higher Learning has found an interesting way to narrow the search.
Members of the Board Search Committee will hear from constituency groups in Campus Listening Sessions on Wednesday. Listening sessions will begin at 7:30 a.m. and conclude at 11:30 a.m. at the Hattiesburg campus. The Gulf Coast campus will also hold sessions from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.
While the listening sessions will be open to the general public, each session will focus on a specific group, which, in turn, will focus on certain qualities and qualifications for the next president.
Robin Robinson, chair of the Board Search Committee, was quoted in the IHL press release.
“Everyone is welcome to attend any session and stay for as many sessions as they would like,” Robinson said. “The Board has designated specific times for each group to ensure that all voices have an opportunity to be heard, but the sessions are not limited only to those in that particular group. We hope to have great participation from all facets of the campus community.”
The process used to find the next president is one that involves not only faculty, staff, students and alumni, but also the Hattiesburg community. According to Interim President Aubrey K. Lucas, the process being deployed is effective.
A national consultant has been employed to assist the search by conducting consulting groups, which is taking place this week. These groups will help decide what kind of president is desired for the university. Once the information is gathered, the consultants will advertise that the position is open, at which point the applications will be separated according to qualifications.
Candidates are required to have earned a doctorate degree.
Once the applications have been narrowed down consisting of three to five candidates, the remaining applicants will be interviewed by the board. After the interviews are completed, the board will choose a “preferred candidate.” That candidate will visit Southern Miss for one full day, where the press, faculty, staff, students, alumni and the public can meet and evaluate the applicant. Finally, the board will make its decision based on the opinions of all parties; if the report is positive, the candidate will be elected as president.
“It’s a great process,” Lucas said. “We are hoping this process will be completed January 1.”
State Representative Toby Barker, who serves Forrest and Lamar counties, said students should take advantage of this opportunity and help with the process.
“As someone who participated in the presidential search as a student ten years ago, I urge every student to take ownership in this very important chapter in our university’s story,” Barker said.
Faculty, staff and students’ listening sessions will be webcast. For the full schedule, visit the IHL News section of mississippi.edu.