Search for university president progresses

The Board of Regents meets this morning at 11 a.m. to continue the search for WSU’s next president. Members continued their search two weeks ago after the Celebration of Life for the late Elson S. Floyd in August.

Kathy Barnard, WSU director of communication, said that Provost Dan Bernardo currently holds the title of interim president until a new candidate has been chosen.

The first meeting of the month was on Sept. 10, where Isaacson/Miller was announced as the search firm working with and advising the university in the search process.

“The board has been very clear about making this an inclusive process,” said Barnard.

According to the Presidential Search Guidelines, the search will be timely and should be over by the Spring of 2016.

At the Board of Regents meeting on Sept. 10, Regent Mike Worthy said the next step was to frame a presidential search advisory committee. Worthy said that the advisory search committee is to be made up of 25 people selected to best represent all of WSU’s constituencies.

The people in the advisory search committee include members of the Board of Regents, WSU administration, faculty, students, and other people in the WSU community.

Worthy stressed the term ‘advisory’ to point out the fact that the ultimate decision of who will be president is up to the Board of Regents. However, Worthy also said the board is tentatively planning for seven community forums seeking substantial feedback from all of the WSU community about the search for the new president.

The feedback will be paired with feedback from the presidential search advisory committee.

While the board wants to keep the process of finding the next president as inclusive as possible, the names of candidates will not be released to the public.

He explained that these candidates have careers that could be jeopardized if they are seen looking for a new position.

Toward the end of the meeting, Interim President Dan Bernardo reminded members that there is an action to change the name of the WSU medical school in Spokane from the College of Medical Sciences to the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.

He said the change from ‘College of Medical Sciences’ to ‘College of Medicine’ would provide a more conventional name for the medical school. The addition of Floyd’s name to the college is to honor the man and the college Floyd pursued to build, Bernardo said.

“The medical school was something that Elson really believed in, and it’s only appropriate that his name be connected to it,” Bernardo said.