Presidential search should cast a wide net

As the search committee for Southern’s next president kicks off, questions begin to mount, starting with just how far the committee will go to find the right candidate. The current count sits at 18 applications, and more are expected as the Nov. 1 deadline approaches.

Officials at Missouri State University and Crowder College, campuses which have conducted their own recent searches, told committee chairman Dwight Douglas they received a large number of last-minute applicants. Officials at Missouri State told him not all applicants would be qualified for the job.

By divvying the pool by yes, no and maybe will the committee find the person we need?

During the search committee meeting Monday, a suggestion was made to hire a search firm to assist in recruiting qualified candidates. The suggestion met with opposition from committee members as an unnecessary and expensive option.

While the committee has advertised in all the right places, The Chart wonders what is wrong with thinking outside the box, too?

Bryan Vowells, the committee member representing Southern alumni, talked about casting a wide net. He makes a good point. We don’t deny that there might be a qualified candidate right on our doorstep, but did we check next door, too?

In almost every course, students are asked to research topics and present what they have found. We ask the same thing of those who will decide our University’s leadership. There is more to consider than the cost.

We hope the committee’s decision is difficult, with a field crowded with highly qualified candidates. Knowing the committee picked the best of the best will strengthen the University and give credence to any changes implemented by new leadership.

We wish them luck.