Shared from the 4/4/2017 American Press eEdition

McNeese search down to four

McNeese State University moved one step closer to finding its next president with the selection Monday by the search committee of four semifinalists who will interview for the position.

Candidates will sit for public interviews on McNeese’s campus on Monday, April 10 and Tuesday, April 11 and finalists will be selected to interview with the UL System Board on April 20.

“It was a tremendous challenge to narrow a field of 15 talented candidates to four, but I am confident the committee chose the right group to move forward in the process,” said Jim Henderson, UL System president and CEO.

Henderson said Lake Charles is “in the midst of an economic boom and Mc-Neese’s next leader is charged with meeting the community’s rapidly changing needs.”

McNeese President Philip Williams, who has served since July 1, 2010, will retire on June 30.

The semifinalists for president of the university are:

Neil Aspinwall, chancellor, Sowela Technical Community College. Daryl Burckel, accounting professor, McNeese State University. Jeanne Daboval, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, McNeese State University. Mirta Martin, former president, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas.

‘It was a tremendous challenge to narrow a field of 15 talented candidates to four, but I am confident the commitee chose the right group to move forward in the process.’
Jim Henderson
UL System president and CEO

“I like the idea of Aspinwall for president,” said Christian Keever, a junior majoring at chemical engineering at McNeese who took a break from playing pool on campus with fellow students to give his opinion of the candidates. “If he has helped Sowela, he can help McNeese.”

Yusuf Celestaine, a freshman at MSU majoring in computer science, said, “I like the business guy, Burckel, because I think we need someone with a strong financial background as our next president.”

A 20-year employee of the McNeese bookstore, Diane Vinson said she’s rooting for Daboval.

“I feel pretty strongly about her,” she said. “She’s a true professional. I’ve had to answer to her before and she’s strict but very good at what she does.”

Michael Reyes, a senior majoring in general studies, said he could see any of the four candidates in the position. “I think there are advantages to the person being local and there are also advantages to someone who might be coming in with no ties at all to the community because they would bring something fresh to the table.”

UL System staff will release a detailed interview schedule when it is finalized. In addition to public interviews, candidates will meet with McNeese faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members.

McNeese earlier hosted presidential search committee meetings and a public forum.

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