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WLU’s Presidential Search Committee suspends efforts

WEST LIBERTY — West Liberty University’s Presidential Search Committee is now suspending its efforts in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“Due to the national emergency and the need for social distancing, online-only classes and travel restrictions, we regret that we cannot continue the search in a transparent and normal manner. However, there is good news. Our remaining four candidates have agreed to remain in the running and will visit campus at a later date,” said committee Chairman Rich Lucas, who also serves as chairman of WLU’s Board of Governors. “We are also grateful that President Stephen Greiner has agreed to stay on until September.”

Greiner announced his planned retirement this past November and had hoped to retire at the end of June.

“This is an unprecedented circumstance that we are making the best of. We are thankful for the cooperation of the candidates, President Greiner and our campus community,” added Lucas. “As the COVID-19 crisis subsides and things return to normal, the search committee will meet again and we will announce the rescheduled visits, agendas and updates. We will make sure that the campus community has an opportunity to meet all four candidates in person as we resume the process.”

Candidate visits were already delayed once about two weeks ago and will now be pushed back further to August.

The four candidates in the running include:

– Robert Colvin has spent 21 years in higher education, as a faculty member and administrator. He is vice provost for undergraduate education at Christopher Newport University, in Newport News, Va.

– Brian Crawford, an internal candidate, has worked at WLU for more than 20 years and serves as provost. He previously was acting president for three months in 2014 and is the former dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

– Joe Delap is provost and vice president for academic affairs at Athens State University in Alabama and a tenured professor.

– David Haney is a higher education consultant and former president of Centenary University in Hackettstown, N.J. Prior to that, he was a vice president and dean at Emory & Henry College, Emory, Va.

After the candidates visit campus and meet with alumni, staff, students and faculty, the search committee with evaluate the campus interviews and offer their suggestions to the Board of Governors, which makes the final selection.

The announcement on the final selection of West Liberty University’s 37th President is tentatively expected the end of August. To read more on the candidates and to view their complete CVs, please visit westliberty.edu/bog.

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