Marshall ramps up president search

Off-campus interviews set for September

Staff Report

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University officials are moving forward with a new slate of candidates for the institution’s vacant presidency.

According to Board of Governors Chairman Michael G. Sellards, who is leading the search committee, consultants with AGB Search Inc. have compiled a list of six people who were identified and vetted over the last couple of months during what he termed an “active recruitment” effort.

“Our goal is to find the best person and we wanted to be certain we had explored every possibility,” Sellards said. “As we announced in May would happen, our consultants spent the summer reaching out through their network in higher education to identify people who might be a good fit for us. They followed up with the people who were recommended to gauge their interest in the Marshall presidency. From that effort, a pool of 11 new candidates with sincere interest in our position was identified. We worked with AGB over the past couple of weeks to help us shortlist six candidates to interview.”

During the initial phase of the search this spring, a field of nearly 60 applicants was whittled down to six semi-finalists in early May. Following a round of off-site interviews with those candidates, the search committee decided not to name any finalists, electing instead to expand the search to identify additional candidates who may not have responded to the initial advertisements.

Sellards characterized the new pool of candidates as “extremely impressive,” adding that it includes at least one sitting university president and several chief academic officers with successful experience as interim presidents.

“I’m very pleased with the progress made over the summer,” he added. “The quality of this pool of candidates tells me we made the right choice by taking our time to leave no stone unturned in the search for our next president.”

He also expressed appreciation to the university community for its patience as the search proceeds and for its input into the process.

Sellards said the search committee will meet with this select field of six candidates for confidential, off-campus interviews in September. Following those private interviews, the committee expects to select three or four of those candidates to bring to campus sometime in October. At that stage in the process, opportunities will be provided for the university community and other constituents to meet with the finalists and provide feedback to the search committee.

The committee will present its recommendations to the Board of Governors for the final selection. The name of the recommended candidate will then be forwarded to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission for final approval. Sellards said he anticipates the selection will be made this fall and a new president could be on board in time for the start of the spring semester.

The search committee is comprised of the 16 members of the Board of Governors which includes student, faculty and staff representatives as well as the president of the university’s Faculty Senate. Ex-officio, non-voting committee members include Interim President Gary G. White and Dr. Paul Hill, chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

Information about the search process is available at The site includes an online feedback form to allow people to provide input.

Off-campus interviews set for September

Staff Report