NATCHITOCHES – A new president for Northwestern State University could be named as soon as Nov. 8 with that individual taking office in January 2022.
The tentative timeline for the search and interview process was set forth during a Presidential Search Committee meeting Aug. 24 hosted by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System. Dr. Jim Henderson, ULS president and search committee chair, said the aggressive timeline will not subtract from recruitment or vetting of candidates.
“The charge to the committee is to recommend at least two names to the board. The timeline is negotiable. Finding the exact candidate that will lead this university is not,” Henderson said.
After advertising the position in multiple industry publications, applicants will be screened and selected for interview by Friday, Oct. 8. Once candidates have been identified, open interviews will be conducted on the NSU campus that will involve faculty, staff, community members and students. The interviews will be streamed online. Meanwhile, the committee will visit Northwestern State to gather public input and determine what qualifications are essential for NSU’s next president.
“In order to fulfill our search responsibilities, it’s important to have a good understanding of this university and its constituencies,” Henderson said.
The Search Committee is required to include public forums as part of the search process that allows public input.
“In particular we are interested in what qualifications you see as essential as the next president if he or she is to succeed in this role,” Henderson said.
Student, faculty and community input at the meeting indicated a desire to return to face-to-face classes, bridge the digital gap that affect many rural students, facilitate pathways for first-generation college students and explore ways in which the university can meaningfully impact social, intellectual and economic challenges in the Natchitoches community. Faculty also want their voices to be heard and valued.
The UL System will create digital portals on their website, https://www.ulsystem.edu/, in which constituents can provide input on the presidential search. Information regarding the search will be housed on the System’s website at ulystem.edu/nsusearch.
NSU President Chris Maggio retired June 1, 2021. He served as president since January 2017 and has been a member of NSU’s faculty, staff and administration for 33 years. Marcus Jones is serving as interim president.
The University of Louisiana System is the largest higher education system in Louisiana enrolling more than 92,000 students at Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the University of Louisiana at Monroe and the University of New Orleans.