Northwestern State University held a Presidential Search Forum as the search for its next president began March 9. Senator Gerald Long said the university needs the best person with the right qualities to lead it through the years to come, someone who fits the uniqueness of NSU.
He said the person chosen needs to be community minded, needs to understand the complexity of NSU, primarily as it services rural parishes in the area, and needs to be someone touched by the very fiber of the university, which is an integral part of growing higher education in the state of Louisiana.
Former NSU President and current University of Louisiana System President Dr. Jim Henderson agreed. He said the search committee needs to select a president who will lead from the most hallowed ground in higher education in the state.
The search committee includes:
· UL System President/CEO Dr. Jim Henderson, Search Committee Chair (Non-Voting)
· UL System Board Members Edward Crawford, Lola Dunahoe, Pamela Egan, Jimmie Martin, Shawn Murphy, Alejandro Perkins, Robert Shreve, Winfred Sibille and Antonio Torres
· Marcia Hardy,Northwestern Faculty Senate
· John Pearce, Northwestern SGA President (Non-Voting)
· Gail Jones, Community Representative (Non-Voting)
· Scott Andrews, Northwestern Foundation President (Non-Voting)
· Monty Chicola, Northwestern Alumni Association President (Non-Voting)
The following statements were presented by community members:
· Cathy Seymour (NSU Alum): NSU is the lifeblood of the City and that relationship must be protected at all costs. It’s important the next president understands the role this university plays in the community because it cannot be overlooked.
· Thomas Reynolds (NSU Faculty Senate Officer): Henderson is looked at as a model of someone successfully leading the university. The search committee should look at ways people have been successful in similar situations when selecting candidates. We were at a lull before Henderson and we don’t want to go back to that.
· Hunter Horton (NSU student): Henderson set a precedent on what’s important to the students at NSU and that’s a president who’s involved socially and technologically, someone who’s energetic and engaged with the students.
· Ginger Sepulvado (Second Semester Freshman at NSU): The first time I stepped on campus I knew I wanted to come to NSU. It’s like home. The relationships I’ve formed with the faculty and administration here will impact me for the rest of my life.
· Sharon Joy (NSU Faculty): Henderson was remarkable for a leader, connecting faculty, staff and administration around an equal table and fostering an atmosphere of listening. These qualities are important in a new candidate, who needs to have that type of open door policy.
· Lee Posey (Mayor of Natchitoches and NSU Alum): I’ve seen the ups and down of NSU and I don’t want to go through that cycle again.
· Julie Nelson (NSU student): I’m a 50-year-old non-traditional student in the HMT program. The next president needs to push this program and make more people aware of it.
· Shelia Carpenter (community member): I want to see a consistent president and administration at NSU to create unity on campus.
To submit comments to the search committee email NSUpresidentialsearch@la.gov. For more information go online to http://ulsystem.edu/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&pid=449. See below for a timeline for the Presidential Search.