Students display confusion over presidential search

The fate of the presidential position at Murray State is now in the hands of the Board of Regents.

But many students are confused about the final stages of the process – when will they know the names of the final three candidates? When will the board decide which of those candidates will be president?

Jill Hunt, secretary in the Office of the President, said the Board of Regents will meet March 11 and 12, and the times are still subject to change.

Hunt said there will be an open forum around those dates, but the schedule isn’t official and hasn’t been released to the board yet.

Hunt said a date hasn’t been set for when the board will make its decision.

“(The board) will discuss and interview all of the candidates,” Hunt said.

According to Hunt, Constantine Curris, chair of the Board of Regents, said a decision would be made as quickly as possible after the interviews.

The candidates will be on campus March 9-12.

Hunt said the candidates will meet with the different constituency groups on campus in between their interviews with the board.

According to the Presidential Search Committee process laid out on Murray State’s website, “a process will be structured by which feedback from these meetings will be received by the board.”

Cory Sharpe, senior from Whiteville, Tenn., said he wishes students were given background information on the candidates ahead of time.

“I guess I would really just like to know who they are,” Sharpe said. “Not necessarily their names, but at least some kind of credentials. Information about their educational background would be nice.”

Chris Koechner, senior from Marion, Ill., is a senate member of the Student Government Association. Koechner said members of SGA?have been continuously discussing the presidential search.

Koechner said Jeremiah Johnson, SGA president and student regent, discussed potential questions and issues to ask the three candidates about during their visits to campus at the SGA meeting Wednesday night.

Although he wishes the search was open, Koechner thinks the board will have the interests of students in mind when making the final decision in March.

“Jeremiah will definitely carry over opinions from the student body,” he said. “I think his voice is strong on the Board of Regents.

“With that, the board can make a competent decision.”

Koechner said students in SGA and others he has talked to primarily want a president who can communicate efficiently.

“Dr. Miller is a great president; I wish he could stay,” Koechner said. “He’s always on your level of communication. He’s not always formal but is when he needs to be.”

Chris Patel, senior from Russellville, Ky., said he hopes the new Murray State president listens to what students want, while also staying realistic to what’s best for the University.

Patel said he would like information on what the search committee already found in the candidates, why they are finalists and what improvements they would like to institute at Murray State.

He thinks that information could help students decide who they think would be the best candidate before the decision is made.

“I’m sure the administration and officials at the University know what’s going on,” Patel said. “But as for students, I mean I know there has to be confidentiality on the process up to a certain point, but soon we would like to have some insight.”


Story by Lexy Gross, Editor-in-Chief