Final presidential candidates tour campus

The five finalists for FAMU’s presidency are scheduled to make campus visits next week. Dr. Melvin Stith, Dr. Fred Gainous, Dr. Anna Vaugn

Cooke, Dr. David Wilson and Dr. Charlie Nelms will spend an entire day meeting with the University’s constituent groups.

Beginning at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 5:15 p.m., the candidates will meet with all the academic deans; faculty; students; executive council and administration and the presidential search advisory in a question and answer forum.

“The college visit will give all constituents the opportunity to meet with the candidates and interview them,” said Dr. Ada Puryear Burnette, chair of the Presidential Search Committee.

Andrew Gillum, Board of Trustee Member and Presidential Search Advisory Committee member, added, “The purpose of the college visit is to give each candidate an up close and personal experience with the campus.”

Each constituent group will have an hour for question and answer during the candidates’ visit.

“The purpose of the forums is to provide another avenue for the presidential candidates to hear the concerns from all the constituent groups,” Gillum said.

Brown-bag lunches will also be provided during each student forums in an effort to encourage students to attend and speak with the candidates.

Burnette said, “Another purpose of the forums is for faculty, students and alumni to be able to come to some conclusion themselves based on the candidate’s interview.”

Gillum would like for the board to take into consideration the constituents’ concerns toward each candidate. “I pray that the outcome of the forums will have an affect on the final decision,” he said.

Burnette added that the college visits are not the final interviews.

“The Board of Trustees wants the Presidential Search Committee to prepare a qualitative evaluation report of each candidate,” she said.

“Theywill not make their selection until they have interviewed the candidates and evaluated each candidates’ report.”

“We will give them the evaluation reports prior to their first meeting in Mid-May,” Burnette said.

The next Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for mid-May. “We will meet either May 16th or 17th,” he said. “And the vote for the new president will take place during our first meeting.”

As far as William H. Gray Jr. and Dr. Charles Kidd, who applied for the presidency position after the preliminary interviews, Gillum said there would be a telephonic interview with Kidd on April 29, and “As of now, Mr. Gray has not accepted,” Gillum said.

Dr. Melvin Stith, dean of Florida State University’s College of Business, is scheduled to visit on Monday, April 15; Dr. Fred Gainous,chancellor of the Alabama College System, is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16; Dr. Anna Vaughn Cooke, dean of the School of Graduate Studies,will meet on Wednesday, April 17; Dr. David Wilson, associate provost and vice president at Auburn University is scheduled for Thursday, April 18 and Dr. Charlie Nelms, vice president of the student development and diversity of Indiana University will visit on April 22.