MARTINSBURG - There's only good news to report about ongoing efforts to find a new West Virginia University president, especially since the search committee's first meeting was successful and an advertisement aimed at recruiting candidates was placed Friday, an official said.
Speaking following the afternoon meeting held at the Morgantown campus, Board of Governors Chairman James W. Dailey II of Martinsburg said he is confident efforts to replace former president James Clements are moving ahead on schedule, while interim replacement E. Gordon Gee has had a seamless transition back to his old job.
"It's really like the best of both worlds. Gordon Gee still has the same passion and energy as when he first came to the university, which has allowed him to fit right back - almost where he left off. He's an outstanding leader, so there's no doubt we are in good hands during this transition. And we are also feeling good about having some really good candidates apply," Dailey said.
Gee, who resigned as president of Ohio State University last year, was named president effective Dec. 31, but is not eligible for the permanent position. He was named as a replacement after Clements announced in November that he was leaving to become president at Clemson University in South Carolina.
Clements had been at WVU since 2009.
WVU officials hope to have Clements' successor chosen by early summer and be ready for the fall semester.
All 20 search committee members participated, two via telephone, he said. Members represent several constituents, including the BOG, faculty senate, classified staff, student government association, WVU Foundation and Alumni Association as well as divisional campuses.
It was an opportunity to meet one another and understand who each member is representing, Dailey said.
The agenda included discussion about hiring, related procedures such as affirmative action and equal opportunity concerns, as well as confidentiality agreements that will need to be executed, he said.
In other related business, a request for proposal was sent to the university's procurement office as committee members begin to consider which search firm should be hired to help with this national recruitment effort, Dailey said.
Once selected, the search firm will work independently to find candidates but also help screen resumes which are received as a result of the ad that went out Friday and will be placed in higher education publications, he said.
"We have a good committee and we are all very excited and pleased to be serving as advisers. We anticipate getting quality candidates and that should begin to happen shortly," Dailey said.
Under the original timeline, resumes would be accepted until Feb. 21, but that date may move up or back somewhat, depending on the application process, he said.
During an earlier meeting, BOG members adopted a list of guidelines for the search process and characteristics - including integrity, vision, leadership and experience - they would like to see in the next president.
A date for the next search committee meeting has not been scheduled because it depends on the procurement process and hiring of a firm to do that work, Dailey said.