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Shepherd moves forward with search

By Staff | Apr 3, 2015

Tuesday was a big day for Shepherd University officials, because they not only learned that President Dr. Suzanne Shipley was formally named to the same post at Texas’ Midwestern State University, but they also took some steps to begin searching for her replacement.

Shipley, who grew up in Lubbock, Texas, was named as the “sole finalist” for this new position after the MSU Board of Regents unanimously endorsed her last month. Moving closer to her elderly mother and other family members was a driving force behind this decision, Shipley said in an earlier interview.

However, Texas state law requires university governing boards to wait for at least 21 days before making an appointment official. When that decision was finalized Tuesday, it didn’t come as any surprise to Shepherd policymakers, said Dr. Marcia Brand.

Brand, who serves on Shepherd’s Board of Governors, is also acting as head of the newly formed presidential search committee. She said work is already getting underway to replace Shipley, who is expected to leave sometime in midsummer after having been here since 2007.

Speaking in a telephone interview following the board of governors’ special meeting, Brand said the process will be transparent. For example, the names of additional search committee members will be announced publicly. But they will also be submitted to the state Higher Education Policy Commission for approval because there are rules regarding the committee’s composition, she said.

Information and updates will also be posted online, so that students, staff, community members and other interested individuals can easily access this ongoing effort, she said.

A national search firm will be selected to guide the process, Brand said, adding that the name of that company will be announced after the contract is finalized.

“We will be working throughout the summer, and we will be advertising the position on a national scale. Then we’ll have public meetings on the campus with the finalists by the Thanksgiving holiday,” she said.

“That’s a little ambitious, but we’re hoping we can make that goal,” Brand said.