After months of delays, Alabama A&M University's on-again, off-again presidential search is back on again with the announcement that the A&M board of trustees will meet this morning on the campus in Normal (AL) to possibly select a president.
The trustees will meet at 9:30 a.m. in what is being called a continuation of a Jan. 31 meeting that was closed but not adjourned. That meeting in Birmingham heard from all three presidential finalists but did not have a quorum for a vote.
The meeting announcement came one day after the chairman of the state Senate Confirmations Committee said Tuesday Gov. Bob Riley's appointees to the board of trustees are in danger of failing for a second straight year.
Sen. Hinton Mitchem, D-Union Grove, said that's because Riley still has not sent their names to the confirmations committee and because of opposition from the Alabama Education Association.
Riley's office has continued to delay sending the four names - David Slyman Jr. of Huntsville; Leroy C. Richie of Birmingham, Mich.; Mayor Edward E. May of Bessemer; and the Rev. Willie Clyde McNeil of Chatom - after AEA called for a public hearing.
The confirmations committee rejected all four last year, but Riley reappointed them after the Legislature adjourned in 2008. In December the Alabama Supreme Court issued a ruling allowing the Riley appointees to remain on the board.
The finalists for president are Dr. Lawrence Davenport of Florida, Dr. Andrew Hugine Jr. of South Carolina and Dr. Rodney Smith of Virginia. Davenport has since taken a job at a charter school in Rhode Island. It is unclear whether he remains a candidate.