Search for permanent president continues: Attend Thursday’s forum

By Shania Dauterive
Article republished courtesy of KNWD News

The Northwestern State University Search Committee was charged with recommending at least two individuals who best qualify for the position of Northwestern State University President on Thursday, Feb. 23.

Alejandro Perkins, Chair of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, spoke at the meeting about finding someone to continue the legacy.

“Because Dr. [Jim] Henderson was gracious enough to accept the position as President for our system, we must work to find his successor,” Perkins said. “As Chair of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, one of my responsibilities is to appoint a search to do just that.”

The Board charged the committee with the following tasks:

* Establish a procedure and timeline
* Engage the services of a search consultant
* Visit the campus early in the process and obtain public input
* Screen applications
* Check references
* Interview the most qualified candidates
* Recommend at least two qualified candidates to the full Board

Although no one is officially a candidate yet, former NSU president and current UL President Dr. Jim Henderson gave some advice to the future candidates since he was once in their shoes.

“One—Trust the process. It will work,” Henderson said. “Two—Be yourself. The most important thing the Board of Supervisors do is pick a president. Allow the process to work.” Potential candidate Dr. Chris Maggio spoke on how serving as NSU Acting President has been fulfilling to him.

“Northwestern has such great students, faculty and staff that it’s been great,” Maggio said. “It’s really allowed me to appreciate even the great work the faculty does and the achievement of our students.”

Maggio also said that he appreciates the selection process because it gathers input from the students, faculty and staff, alumni and community members, as well as individuals from businesses and industries. It shows interest not only in Northwestern State, but in its region, Maggio said.

According to the desired qualifications document, the board is seeking a leader who has the following qualities:

* An earned doctorate from an accredited institution (preferred)
* Strength in fiscal management and philanthropy
* The ability to inspire students, faculty and staff to expand their knowledge and understanding in a multicultural, global society
* Excellent communication skills and a demonstrated ability to work in an environment of collegiality and a shared decision-making
* The ability to be a strong advocate for the university at the state, regional and national levels
* The ability and desire to remain President of Northwestern for a period of several years

Maggio also gave a word of advice for people thinking about applying for the position.

“Make sure the things that you do are for the betterment of Northwestern,” Maggio said.

Students, faculty, staff, external stakeholders, community leaders and the general public are encouraged to attend the presidential search forum on Thursday, March 9 in the Magale Recital Hall at 1pm. This event will allow students and members of the community to offer their input and to ask questions. The forum will be streamed on NSU’s website,

For more information on the presidential search, go to or e-mail