Cross-sectional presidential search group to meet

The search for a new president continues today at Lee Hall, as the trustees scramble to replace President Humphries before his scheduled Dec. 31 departure date.

Members of the presidential search advisory committee will meet for the first time to nominate potential presidential candidates and provide input for the final presidential leadership statement, as well as the selection process.

Originally scheduled for Nov. 12, the meeting will be the first opportunity for the committee’s cross-section of faculty, students, alumni, athletic boosters and community leaders to meet as a group.

Dorothy Williams, secretary for the Board of Trustees, said that some trustees may attend, but they would only observe.

The schedule for presidential search events has also been revised. Presidential applicants were originally slated to arrive on campus for interviews beginning Nov. 26. Williams said the trustees’ internal presidential search committee, which will meet Tuesday at 9 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom, would clarify the search calendar.

“The committee will be looking at applications, not individuals, at the Grand Ballroom,” Williams said. “At that time, they will announce the new dates when presidential applicants will interview on campus.”

Williams added that the committee will not be taking public comments but the meeting, as all public meetings in Florida, are open to the public.

Three more presidential hopefuls have applied, bringing the total number of official applicants to 14. The new trio includes George E. Ross, executive vice president at Clark-Atlanta University, Melvin T. Stith, dean of the FSU College of Business and J. Allen Zow Sr., executive assistant to the president and university counsel at Savannah State College.

Speculation continues to swirl about whether a president can be chosen before President Humphries leaves, and who might fill the void during an interim period.

In an interview, Trustees Chairman Art Collins said that a president would be chosen before Dec. 31, and that an interim president would likely serve during the early months of 2002.

There is also a possibility that interim provost Gladys Lang could temporarily fill the presidential void. In the minutes from the Board of Trustees’ initial Aug. 2 meeting, university general counsel Bishop Holifield, indicated that FAMU would be run by the interim provost if the Office of the President was vacant and no selection had been made concerning a new president.

The group will break into subcommittees to discuss interview questions to be posted to applicants, as well as components of the presidential leadership statement.