Shared from the 4/18/2017 American Press eEdition

Decision time nears

McNeese finalists set for interviews

McNeese State University should have its next president this week after a special meeting Thursday, April 20, in which three finalists for president will be interviewed by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System in Baton Rouge.

UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson, in a phone interview with the American Press on Monday said, “When you look at the tens of billions of dollars in economic expansion in the regional economy and how the town has depended on McNeese through the years, it’s critical that we find the right person for this job. 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. The demands for the next president will be even stronger because the stakes are so high.”

Henderson said there are “three candidates with a great deal of experience and each brings a set of talent and experiences that can bode well for McNeese. I’m excited to watch as things develop and to see the three interviews on Thursday. I’m confident in the process and feel very strongly that the right person for the job will be the one that is chosen after the interviews.”

The meeting to select the next president will be held at 9 a.m. in Room 100, Louisiana Purchase Room, at the Claiborne Conference Center.

Finalists were selected last week and one semi-finalist eliminated after a full day of public interviews followed with deliberation by the Mc-Neese State University Search Committee. In addition to public interviews, candidates met with McNeese faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members. McNeese had previously hosted presidential search committee meetings and a public forum.

‘It’s critical that we find the right person for this job.’
Jim Henderson
UL System president and CEO

McNeese President Philip Williams, who has served since July 1, 2010, will retire on June 30. Williams is the sixth president in the university’s 78-year history.

The candidates for the next president of the university are Neil Aspinwall, chancellor, Sowela Technical Community College; Daryl Burckel, accounting professor, McNeese State University; and Jeanne Daboval, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, McNeese State University.

In his letter to the McNeese Search Committee expressing his interest in the position, Aspinall said, in part, “McNeese State University needs a leader who not only understands the importance of quality educational programming and comprehensive student services, the institution also needs a leader who understands that the College also has to be thought of as a business enterprise.”

Burckel, in his letter to the Committee, said, in part, “Mc-Neese is an excellent university, but it is at a crossroads as it faces considerable challenges as well as many opportunities. One thing is for certain: its future will be different from its past. To be successful in the future, regional universities will have to enhance their role in the social, cultural, and economic life of their communities.”

In her letter to the Committee, Daboval said, in part, “I understand the complex nature of public service leadership and am enthusiastic about committing my energy, experience, and skills to the presidency. I am optimistic about the future of McNeese and believe its strong academic values are the foundation for a creative new vision.”

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