Who’s Next

Luke Taylor

Dr. Peter Johnstone, one of three candidates for the vice president of academic affairs position is visiting campus today.

Johnstone is the deputy vice chancellor at University of North Texas in Texas.

“I think one of the things I’m very attracted to is the international mission,” said Johnstone of why he applied for the position at Southern. He also liked the University’s size, saying he has worked at institutions with many different sizes and prefers the size of MSSU.

He also said he is aware of the Faculty Senate no confidence vote in University President Bruce Speck recently, but did not wish to comment on whether it had an effect on his decision to apply at Southern.

Currently, Dr. Brad Kleindl is serving as interim vice president of academic affairs until a replacement is selected.

There are two other applicants for vice president of academic affairs: Dr. Charles Callum, English professor at Kuztown University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Brian Chapman, biology and marine biology professor at University of North Carolina in Wilmington. Callum will visit the campus Oct. 29 and Chapman will visit Nov. 4.

“They’ve all had a pretty rich experience with the academy,” Speck said. The final three were whittled down from a list of over 20 applicants, a process Speck said was “painstaking.”

One of the candidates, Chapman, was involved in a controversy at UNCW earlier this year.

The National Coalition Against Censorship accuses Chapman of challenging academic freedom, saying he refused to let photos of underage women be shown in an art exhibit known as The Century Project.

Chapman, who was provost of the university at that time, says this is not exactly the case.

“It was not my decision,” he says. “It was not my controversy, but I took a bullet for the team.”

Chapman resigned over the summer, but declined to talk about it. However, he did say that if the situation came up at Southern, he would handle it differently.

Speck said he and the search committee are aware of the controversy, but it didn’t have any effect on Chapman’s qualifications.

“The committee has made reference checks and is satisfied that that is ultimately not an issue with him,” Speck said. “He was upfront about that in the material he submitted.”

Like Johnstone, Chapman said he is aware of the no confidence vote and, if selected for the vice president’s seat, will help the relationship between the faculty and president.

“It’s one of the main roles of the vice president,” he said.