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WKU regents appoint presidential search committee

Bowling Green, Ky. – WKU’s Board of Regents began the process of the search for a new WKU president by appointing a presidential search committee on Friday (Feb. 12).

The committee will be chaired by Regent Dr. Phillip W. Bale of Glasgow. Also appointed to the committee were Dr. Barbara Burch of Bowling Green, faculty regent; Cynthia Harris of Louisville, board secretary; Julie Hinson of Louisville, president of the WKU Alumni Association; James G. Meyer of Bowling Green, community representative and past regents chair; Jay Todd Richey of Glasgow, student regent; and Dr. Tamela W. Smith, staff regent.

WKU President Gary A. Ransdell announced Jan. 29 that he will retire from the presidency on June 30, 2017, and from the University on Dec. 31, 2017.

The search committee will identify an initial pool of qualified and diverse candidates and recommend three-to-five candidates to the full Board of Regents, which will serve as the selection committee.

The board also approved a recommendation to request proposals from executive search firms to assist with the search. That assistance will include developing a qualified, diverse pool of applicants, recruiting candidates, conducting reference checks and helping screen candidates.

Board Chair Freddie Higdon of Lebanon said the search will be exhaustive to find the right person to lead WKU. He asked the search committee to present its list by Dec. 31, 2016. Higdon said the Board’s goal is to name WKU’s 10th president by March 2017.

Dr. Bale said this is a historic time for WKU and the selection of a president is one of the most important decisions the Board of Regents will make.

“It is indeed my intention that the entire presidential search process will be one that involves much care and much thought,” he said. “I anticipate and expect that the caliber of applicants for this presidency will be of the highest order, and I pledge that we will conduct our search with as much clarity as possible while not compromising the confidentiality that is so vital to the process.”

Dr. Bale said the “pre-search” process will include working with the search firm to identify the skills and qualifications they should seek in the next president.

Higdon called Dr. Ransdell “a distinguished and transformational president who has set the bar high for the next president.”