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Presidential Search Update

August 10, 2015

Sent on behalf of Thomas A. Heywood, Chair, Presidential Search Committee


Dear Campus Community:

The search for our new president is well underway, and we wanted to share some updated information with you.

Please be sure to view the Position Profile as it was created based on campus and community input during the campus visit of Dr. Charles Green and Dr. John Henderson, our search consultants.

Based on input from campus conversations, the Position Profile effectively captures some of the challenges the new president will have upon taking office:

Manage Enrollmentment Growth - Over the past 5 years, Southern's enrollment has decreased significantly. New leadership and new initiatives in the Enrollment Management area promise better results in student recruitment in the future.  The next President will need to oversee and monitor these efforts to ensure that more students are added to the rolls.

Increase Financial Growth - Like most higher education institutions, the new realities of decreasing state and federal funding have put a greater emphasis on Southern's ability to raise money from all possible sources.  The new President will need to build upon efforts to date to reach planned milestones of the Vision 2020 Major Gifts Campaign.  The President will also need to focus on institutional advancement on other fronts to secure grants, contracts, and student financial assistance from local, regional, and national sources.  Marketing and promoting the institution regionally and nationally will be important.

Strategic Planning - The next President must bring to Southern the ability to lead a meaningful strategic planning process. The institution needs to assess priorities and plan accordingly. The college community needs a blueprint for the future of Southern.

Continue to Strengthen Community and State Relationships - Southern is important to the communities its serves in Boone, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, and Wyoming counties and to the surrounding region. The President needs to be a visible face in the affairs of the local communities, as well as being known by legislators and government officials.

Advancing Technical Skills/Ensuring Continuing Education for Faculty and Staff - The new President must exhibit a strong commitment to advancing the technical skills of faculty and staff and continuing education in general.  The new leader will need to ensure that the College has and provides the funds, time, and avenues for continuing education and specialized training.

Dr. George Ayers, President of Ayers & Associates, reports good responses to our advertisement.  If you would like to recommend a possible candidate to Dr. Ayers, he can be reached via email at george.ayers@ayersandassociates.com or by telephone at 703-418-2815.  Applications and nominations for the position of President are currently being accepted until the position is filled.

The Presidential Search Committee will begin to review applications and narrow the pool to those best suited to address the challenges listed above.  After a round of confidential interviews and careful reference checking, the search committee will produce an unranked list of three to five candidates to be invited to campus for public interviews and presentations. The estimated time of the campus visits is late fall 2015.

We will continue to keep the campus community updated as we move through the next phases of the search.

Thank you,

Thomas A. Heywood, Chair, Presidential Search Committee