Tag Archive for: presidential search

Finalists to be SOU's next president are being interviewed

Interviews of SOU presidential finalists are underway

The first two of five finalists to become SOU’s next president have visited campus over the past week, with the three remaining finalists scheduled to visit later this week and next. All of the candidates are visiting for two days of interviews and presentations with various constituent groups and community members.

Chris Gilmer, Ph.D., currently the president of West Virginia University at Parkersburg, was on the SOU campus on Oct 14 and 15; and Brock Tessman, Ph.D., currently the deputy commissioner of higher education for 16 campuses that comprise the Montana University System, was at SOU on Monday and today. The other candidates – whose names will be announced a day before their respective visits – will come to SOU on Oct. 21-22, Oct. 25-26 and Oct. 27-28.

“We are hoping that not only our campus community, but the entire SOU community and its partners throughout the Rogue Valley will get involved in this process and see these candidates,” said Danny Santos, chair of the SOU Board of Trustees and of the search committee.“ We will be seeking valuable feedback from all who engage in these two-day visits, and that input will be very important in the board’s decision-making process.”

An 18-member Presidential Search Committee – a diverse group made up of members of SOU’s Board of Trustees, students, faculty, staff, local community members and an Oregon university president – recommended the five finalists after receiving more than 100 applications for the position.

Gilmer held various positions in higher education teaching and administration prior to his role at WVU-Parkersburg, including executive director/chief operating officer of Alcorn State University’s Vicksburg Campus, vice president for academic and sponsored programs at a nonprofit agency, and vice president for academic affairs at Adams State University. He holds a doctorate in English from University of Southern Mississippi, a master’s degree in English from Mississippi College, a bachelor’s degree in English and journalism from University of Southern Mississippi and an associate degree in liberal arts from East Central Community College.

Tessman also held various positions in higher education teaching and administration prior to his role with the Montana University System, including professor of political science and dean of the Davidson Honors College at the University of Montana in Missoula; and as a tenured professor at the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Brown University and received both his master’s degree and doctorate in political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

SOU students and employees, and members of the community, have an opportunity to meet and ask questions of the finalists during an open forum and Q&A session at 3:15 p.m. in Room 151 of the Science Building on the first day of each candidate’s campus visit. Day two of the schedule also includes an opportunity for community members to interact with candidates – an 8:30 a.m. session at the Higher Education Center in Medford.

More information about the finalists, their schedules and links to recordings of their open forum presentations are available on the presidential search website.

The search is on for President Linda Schott's successor

SOU board begins search for new university president

(Ashland, Ore.) —The Southern Oregon University Board of Trustees has begun its search for the university’s next president, following President Linda Schott’s announcement last month that she will retire by the end of 2021.

SOU’s governing board has selected Parker Executive Search – a firm that specializes in higher education presidential searches – as its partner in recruiting the university’s next president, and has appointed a diverse, 18-member Presidential Search Committee composed of five trustees, three students, three faculty members, three staff members, three community members and one Oregon university president. The committee will be chaired by Danny Santos, vice chair of the SOU Board of Trustees.

“The Board of Trustees is now seeking a new president who will advance the vision, mission and values of SOU and shape the future of the institution as it moves forward into its next phase,” Santos and Board of Trustees Chair Paul Nicholson said.

“The Board is greatly appreciative of President Schott’s many contributions to SOU since August of 2016 and will continue to build upon this progress for the university,” they said.

The latest information on the presidential search can be found at sou.edu/presidentialsearch.

The Presidential Search Committee will work over the coming months to identify, recruit, and evaluate candidates for the university’s next president, but is intentionally working without a set timeline.

“Given the importance of this decision, the board intends to give the recruitment of SOU’s future president all the thoughtful deliberation it requires,” Nicholson said.

The search is intended to be an inclusive and transparent process, beginning with a series of “listening sessions” over the next couple of weeks to gather input from students, faculty, staff and community members about qualities sought in SOU’s next president. The schedule for listening sessions, which will be led by representatives of the search firm, follows:

Faculty Listening Session
June 3, 2021, 12:30 – 1:30 PM

Staff Listening Session
June 3, 2021, 3:45 – 4:45 PM

Student Listening Session
June 3, 2021, 5:00 – 6:00 PM

Community Listening Session 
(Community members, Parents, Alumni, others off campus)
June 7, 2021, 10:00 – 11:00 AM

Open Listening Session 
(Open to all including those who are unable to attend earlier sessions)
June 7, 2021, 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Listening sessions also will be scheduled with additional groups, including the Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee.

Those who are unable to attend listening sessions are encouraged to submit their input by using an online form and those who want to follow the status of the search may check in on the presidential search website.