JU’s New President Has Yet to be Chosen, Despite the Rumors

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Photo Courtesy of Donald de la Torre

Rumors have been flying around the Jacksonville University campus that the new president has already been chosen and that the search committee the school hired is not only a sham, but also a waste of money. However, according to Derek Hall, the Vice President of university relations and the interim vice president of student life, the rumors are nothing more and the presidential search is legitimate.

Derek Hall was also the liaison between the search committee and the Board of Trustees.

The rumors seem to stem from the inclusion of a Board of Trustees member being one of the top candidates included in the pool. There were murmurs on campus that because Tim Cost was on the Board and because of his impressive resume, he was a strong candidate. It was thought the Board would likely support Cost before another candidate and so the search was just a formality.

“Had a vice president applied, people would have been saying the same thing,” Hall said.

Concern was also expressed over the speed with which the presidential search was conducted.

Hall said the search was done at this pace because the university wanted to “start early in hopes of beating the rush” in regards to picking top-quality candidates.

Although people may have thought that the Board had already made its decision, when it came time to decide on the final three candidates, there was “no runaway at all.”

“It just wasn’t in the voting,” Hall said.

Although the Board does make the final voting decision on the new president, the Trustees do take in to account what the students, staff and faculty have to say regarding the presidential candidates.

“That’s why it is important for faculty, staff and students to come ask questions,” Hall said.

Persons interested in speaking to the candidates and providing their opinion to the Board of Trustee’s will have their chance at Community Receptions open to the whole community. A detailed list of when the receptions will be held was emailed to the entire campus several times. After each reception, attendees will be given a flyer with information that will give them the opportunity to provide feedback to the Board.

The candidate that the Board of Trustees votes on to be the new president of JU will be announced to the public Nov. 1.

As to which candidate that the Board will choose, Hall couldn’t guess.

“The trustee’s are in charge,” Hall said. “I won’t predict what they will do.”

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