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Presidential Search Advisory Committee
begins task, plans listening sessions

Aug. 6, 2010 -- The Presidential Search Advisory Committee met Friday morning for the first time and quickly began the task of identifying well-qualified candidates for president of the Arkansas State University System.

Florine Tousant Milligan of Forrest City, chair of the ASU Board of Trustees, conducted the meeting. Mrs. Milligan is also chairing the Search Committee.

She charged the committee with developing a plan for hearing from various constituent groups, assisting with preparation of search process documents, reviewing the applications, participating in interviews with the finalist candidates, and serving as a resource and advisory group to the Board of Trustees.

The listening sessions will be held with key constituencies during the month of August at several locations, including the Beebe, Mountain Home, Newport and Jonesboro campuses of ASU and in Little Rock. The specific time and place for the various sessions will be announced as the details are confirmed. Faculty, staff, students and community members will be invited to provide their own input into the search process during the public listening sessions.

Dr. Tom Meredith of Effective Leadership LLC, who is serving as a consultant in the search process, led a discussion among committee members about their thoughts on what characteristics and qualifications the new president should possess.

He also distributed a proposed timeline for the process, which calls for the listening sessions and finalizing materials in August, advertising in September, and interviews starting in October, followed by reference and background checks. A Board decision could come by mid-November, with the new president to begin Jan. 1, 2011.

Committee members also received the first draft of an ASU System profile of information that will be utilized as part of the process for recruiting candidates, along with a draft web page design.  The committee will finalize these items at its next meeting.

Both Mrs. Milligan and Dr. Meredith emphasized that while the timeline is ambitious, it will be extended if needed to secure the best possible person for the job. They also said the committee will serve as a valuable resource and advisory group to the Board, but the selection of a new president will be a Board of Trustees decision.

Dr. Robert L. Potts, who came to ASU-Jonesboro as chancellor in November 2006, began serving as interim president of the ASU System on July 1. Dr. Les Wyatt resigned as president to return to the faculty effective June 30 following 15 years of service.

The Board of Trustees established the 11-member search committee and agreed to hire Dr. Meredith as a consultant at its meeting on July 30.

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