Let the search begin

Let the search begin

Let the search begin

Almost the moment former University President Julio León stepped out the door of Webster Hall auditorium, speculation on his replacement began. These theories range from the reasonable to the physically impossible. Though the selection committee has said more than enough times the search will be advertised and will be conducted nationwide, the theories seem to become more obscure and in some cases, just plain bizarre.

Sen. Gary Nodler (R-Joplin) is one prominent name that has been mentioned. Nodler, credited with being the driving force behind multiple bills to benefit Missouri Southern, told The Chart he has no plans to pursue the presidency.

“No, there’s no substance to that rumor,” he said. “I was just appointed chairman of the (Senate) Appropriations Committee.” Nodler also said he believes he could best serve the University elsewhere. We at The Chart are inclined to agree with him. He has been a supporter of the University his entire time in Jefferson City and his new chairmanship bodes well for our appropriations fortunes.

Board of Governors Chairman Dwight Douglas has also been proposed as a possible candidate. Douglas is serving as the chair of the search committee and says not only does he not intend to apply, he wants to find Southern “the best president” possible.

“If I were going to do something else I would have done it a long time ago,” said Douglas, a practicing attorney.

Leon, before serving as University president, was the dean of the school of business and this precedent naturally threw the current dean into the mix. But Dr. Brad Kleindl, in keeping with the trend, told The Chart he is not applying.

“It doesn’t fit into my long term goals,” he said.

One student even offered up former state Sen. Richard M. Webster, for which Webster Hall is named, as a potential candidate. While he might have been a fine candidate years ago, Webster has been deceased for 17 years now.

In spite of the disappointment of Southern students not knowing their own history and the rest of the community jumping to wild conclusions, as of now there are two applications on file for the position and we are not expected to see our new president until the fall semester of 2008.

If previous searches for administrators here is any indication, we won’t know names until it has been whittled down to the finalists. For now, we should keep watch, ask questions but end wild speculations. Let’s settle in for the long haul, shall we?