Search committee tapped to find next Southern President

Members of a Presidential Search Committee at Missouri Southern State University have been announced.

Dwight Douglas, Joplin, chair of the MSSU Board of Governors, will head the search committee that will seek to find a new President after the retirement of Dr. Julio León was announced Friday, Aug. 17.

Other Board of Governors who will serve on the committee include David Jones, an attorney from Springfield, and Ms. Jane Wyman, an attorney from Joplin. Jones was appointed to the Board of Governors last year. Wyman has served on the Board since 1996.

The search committee will be composed of 14 members and will include representatives from each of the four schools at the University.

The school of arts and sciences will be represented by the current president of the Faculty Senate, Mike Kennedy, Webb City, Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Health; the school of business will be represented by the past president of the Faculty Senate, Dr. William Huffman, Joplin, Associate Professor of Accounting; the School of Technology will be represented by Dennis Herr, Joplin, associate professor of computer information science; and the school of education will be represented by Dr. Al Cade, Joplin, head of the department of teacher education.

The University administration will be represented by Dr. Terri Agee, Joplin, Acting President. Mr. Hector Amaya, a junior criminal justice major from Rogers, Ark., and current Student Senate president, also will serve on the committee.

In addition, the committee will include members of the general community – Dr. Larry McIntire, D.O., who practices Otolaryngology in Joplin; Dave Haffner, Carthage, CEO and President of Leggett & Platt, Inc.; and Carolyn Phelps, Carthage, a former member of the Board of Regents. The Missouri Southern Foundation will be represented by Jim Hicklin, Joplin, president and owner of Abbey Title Company, and the Alumni Association will be represented by Bryan Vowels, Joplin, branch manager for A.G. Edwards & Sons.

“Each of these individuals has demonstrated his or her commitment to Missouri Southern and to quality higher education,” Douglas said. “This undertaking is one of the more important events that will take place in the city of Joplin since it will shape the future of higher education for the area for many years to come.”

Ads are being placed in national publications to advertise the position held by León for 25 years. The ad requests that resumes be submitted no later than Nov. 1.

The applications will be submitted to Sharon Odem, secretary to the president and the Board of Governors.

Douglas said the University’s Board of Governors also will be developing a list of goals for the University, which the new president will need to be able to address.

“The ultimate goal of the search committee will be to come up with three final candidates, unless a different number is warranted by the search, to submit to the Board of Governors,” Douglas said. The Board of Governors will then have the opportunity to interview and hopefully pick from this list of three finalists in order to fill the presidential vacancy, he said.

The finalists will not be ranked in any order by the committee, Mr. Douglas said.