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TBR announces presidential search committee members

By Kayla Gulley
On February 9, 2012

The newly appointed Search Advisory Committee is preparing for the first public meeting, scheduled for 12:45 p.m. Feb. 17 in Tech's Multipurpose Room.

The Search Advisory Committee and Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan's responsibilities are to narrow down the list of applications and screen the qualifications of the candidates. The committee then chooses and presents one candidate to the TBR, which will either accept or deny the candidate.

"I think of Tech students pretty much as being the stock holders of our University," Ashley Humphrey, Committee student representative said. "Therefore any decision that's made, that is going to affect the students, needs to come with student support and a student voice."

Milestone dates and the search procedures will be established at the metting.

The committee list was finalized and made public on Jan. 31.

Hopes for new President

The new president will be the ninth in Tech's 97-year history.

"The person who is selected as president plays a tremendously important role in the future of the University; and that affects not just the students who come here, the faculty and staff that work here, but the entire region," Paul Semmes, committee faculty representative, said.

"This University contributes in many different ways to the county, to the country, to the region and to the state."

Tech's is the state's only technological school and, according to its mission statement, is committed to enrich the lives of people and communities in the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

Humphrey said, "I am looking for someone that can represent Tech in many different situations, someone that is a great community leader, someone that can connect to the students on a personal level, someone that can represent Tech, even in a national sense."

While Kaye Loftis, committee support staff representative, said Tech needs "a really good leader" because the economy has brought on hard times.

"It really does not matter what school they went to. I think we need someone that has had leadership experiences, someone that has proven at the University," said Loftis. "I want someone that has been more in the administrative experience."

TBR and search firm Greenwood/Asher & Associates Inc. have been accepting applications and nominees for Tech's new president since September.

Honor being on the Committee

Humphrey said, "I feel like it is a really big honor and I don't take this responsibility lightly. I know it is going to take a lot of time and commitment: I am only one of three students who was chosen to represent a student body of over 11,000, so I feel like, I want to really make sure that the student's voice is heard."

Semmes said, "I made a choice a long time ago that I cared about the institution and I wanted to be at the table when there are important decisions being made and serving on the Search Committee is one way to do that."

Loftis said, "I am anxious to get into seeing who the applicants are, what their qualifications are and to get started on the whole process."

The Search advisory Committee members are as follows: Emily Reynolds, committee chair and TBR board member; John Copeland, TBR board member; Lee Gatts, Student Government Association and TBR student regent; Julius Johnson, TBR board member; Robert P. Thomas, TBR board member; Corinne Darvennes, faculty representative; Carl Owens, faculty representative; Jeff Roberts, faculty representative; Paul Semmes, Faculty Representative; Ashley Humphrey, student representative; Morgen Cupp, student representative; Nathan Burton, alumni representative; Kaye Loftis, Support Staff Representative; Marc Burnett, administrative representative; Joe Albrecht, business community representative; Jean Davis, community-at-large representative; Steve Rains, community-at-large representative and John Rose, community-at-large representative.

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