Web site tracks progress of ASU president search

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 15, 2010

LORMAN — The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning has set up a Web site for the Alcorn State University president search.

The Web site will provide updates on IHL’s 20-step process for selecting ASU’s next president. The IHL is currently working toward step two.

IHL Communications Director Leah Smith said the IHL had yet to advertise a position description or select a search consultant, but it had selected a board search committee from the IHL’s Board of Trustees.

The next steps will be to selecting a search advisory committee from constituency groups of the campus. The SAC will receive applications for the positions and report to the board search committee. Following, the SAC will select members from its committee to interview the candidates. The candidates will slowly be weeded out until a new president is announced.

The first major step will be the listening sessions, where meetings with campus organizations, including the faculty senate, the student association and the alumni association will be held, Smith said.

“That’ll be the thing that will determine what the campus is looking for,” Smith said. “They will listen to constituency groups about what they want.”

Smith said the listening sessions, which will be on ASU’s campus, are a month and a half away.

Search Committee Chair C.D. Smith said although it was early in the process, the IHL did have a few qualities in mind that they hope to find in the next Alcorn president.

“Obviously, we will need someone with vision who can understand the unique offerings of Alcorn,” C.D. Smith said. “We need someone who can bring a plan to take the uniqueness of the university, and bring it about in such a way that makes sure Alcorn can grow and succeed at its goal, which is educating its students.”

C.D. Smith said someone who has this vision and can manage a tight budget from the state and federal governments is ahead in the presidential search.

“These are tough times,” C.D. Smith said. “We need someone who can understand finances, who also has the vision to position Alcorn to take advantage of the upturn when it happens.”

The search committee hopes to gather ideas from the listening sessions and use that information, along with the committee’s ideas, to create a mold for who the future Alcornite leader should be.

Former President George Ross accepted a position as the new leader of Central Michigan University in February.

Norris Edney of Natchez is serving as ASU’s interim president.

A typical search process lasts six months or more.

For more information visit www.mississippi.edu/ieo/asu_search.asp.