Search is on – again


Search is on – again

Nearly five months after declaring he would contemplate the next step, University President Bruce Speck has decided to reopen the search for a vice president for academic affairs.

That decision was announced Monday, and interim vice president for academic affairs Brad Kleindl told the Faculty Senate that plans were for candidates to visit campus next month.

“Hopefully someone would be able to start July 1,” Kleindl said at the meeting.

Kleindl plans to join a host of former administrators in returning to the classroom this fall, and a search for his replacement was declared a failure last November. That search turned up three finalists, Dr. Brian Chapman, Dr. Peter Johnstone and Dr. Charles Cullum, but Chapman and then Johnstone withdrew from consideration.

According to Kleindl, members of the previous search committee met Monday, and many will return for the new search. Speck, who chaired the previous committee, will turn those duties over to Kleindl and Board of Governors member Charles McGinty.

Failed Search

Southern spent more than $5,000 for the previous search, according to a public records request made by The Chart.

“There’s been a huge amount of effort put in by the search committee,” Speck said in November. “They spent many hours and were very dedicated to it. We spent institutional money to bring these people on, so it’s a costly process and I think when you invest those types of resources, especially the resources of those people on the committee, it’s discouraging when you have a failed search.”

Board president Rod Anderson initially refused to comment after the search was declared a failure, calling it a personnel matter.

“I’m through talking,” Anderson told The Chart in November.

When questioned further, Anderson responded: “I run a business here. I don’t work for you,” and hung up. He later apologized, and said he was disappointed the search had not turned up a candidate.

Faculty members were also disappointed upon hearing the announcement. Stephen Schiavo, an associate professor in the computer information science department, said then that he and many faculty members thought Johnstone would have been the best choice.

Schiavo told The Chart that Johnstone could have played a role in “easing some of the discomfort going on.”

“If he were to be managing the faculty and representing the faculty it would have made, I think, our job and the president’s job much easier over the coming years,” he said.

The committee

The new search committee will be chaired by McGinty and Kleindl. Other members are: Dr. Mark Parsons, vice president for development and executive director of the Missouri Southern Foundation; Rob Yust, vice president for business affairs; Darren Fullerton, interim vice president for student affairs; Grace Ayton, associate professor of Nursing; Dr. Scott Wells, professor of biology and environmental health; Dr. Paul Teverow, professor, social science; Jean Hobbs, associate professor of kinesiology; Kathy Feith, director of financial aid; and Dr. Tia Strait, dean of the school of technology.