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Thursday, December 20, 2007

SC State plans to have new president by July

South Carolina State University trustees are working toward having a new president by July 2008, the board chairman said Wednesday.

The S.C. State Board of Trustees met by telephone to develop a framework for hiring a new president and to select a firm to help in the search.

The trustees approved creating an 11-member presidential search committee including three trustees, two elected officials, one faculty member, one staff member, one student, one member from the Board of Visitors, one member of the national alumni association and one member from the local corporate community.

The trustees expect to name the members of the committee by the end of the year, board Chairman Maurice Washington said.

He said search committee members will have to possess a knowledge of S.C. State, a commitment to S.C. State's greater good, credibility, clout, a willingness to devote time and an ability to maintain confidentiality. He also said the board wants to ensure the committee is diverse.

"Selecting a CEO is the board of trustees' most important task," Washington said before going into a two-hour executive session with the board.

Last week, the board voted not to renew President Dr. Andrew Hugine's contract, which was due to expire in June. He was placed on administrative leave, with his last day scheduled to be Jan. 4. Dr. Leonard McIntyre was appointed interim president.

The board on Wednesday also approved the selection of Academic Search, Inc. to assist the university in the nationwide search for its next president. Washington said the firm was an attractive pick because it works exclusively with higher education institutions and has a previous working relationship with S.C. State.

"They are familiar with many of our needs. They should be able to move quickly through the process and help meet our dates," Washington said.

Academic Search is based out of Washington, D.C. and has served more than 800 clients during its three decades of existence, according to the firm's Web site.

Washington said that Senior Vice President of Finance John Smalls will negotiate the terms of S.C. State's arrangement with Academic Search before the end of the year.

A press release announcing Wednesday's meeting said a contractual matter concerning the 2008 football season would also be discussed in executive session. However, trustees did not mention the issue after coming out of executive session. Athletics Director Charlene Johnson was present at the meeting.


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