By STEVEN NALLEY
The first-round interviews for the next Mississippi University for Women president will coincide with the next meeting of the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning on Thursday, Oct. 20 in Jackson.
Caron Blanton, IHL director of communications, said since the Board Search Committee holding the interviews is made up of five IHL trustees, the interviews will occur close to the trustees’ meeting for the sake of convenience.
“It might be the day before; it might be the day after,” Blanton said. “When the board meeting is finalized, we’ll send out a notice that includes all that information.”
The IHL selection process to select new university presidents began in August, after IHL used the same process for Alcorn State University and Jackson State University. The first round of interviews is the 12th of 20 steps in IHL’s process.
The BSC selected a minimum of five candidates for the first round at a meeting on Sept. 23, but Blanton said she could not disclose any details about the selection, including the exact number of candidates selected. Christy Pickering, chair of the BSC, said the confidentiality protects the candidates.
“In any search, if you’re going to get a qualified applicant, if you do not keep it confidential, there are those that will not apply, for fear of losing a current job,” Pickering said.
In its selection, the BSC used materials submitted by a broad cross-section of MUW faculty, students, alumni and members of the Columbus community, called the Campus Search Advisory Committee.
“They know more about what they need from their incoming president,” Pickering said. “We have tried on purpose to step back and allow them to run their committee without any oversight by us. We want them to be able to freely review the applications and score them before we have our joint meeting to discuss that.”