Interim president of Missouri State University might take job permanently

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 | 2:07 p.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD — The interim president of Missouri State University is leaving open the option of taking on the job permanently.

Clif Smart began overseeing the daily operations of the Springfield university on Monday after it was announced that James Cofer was stepping down as president. Smart had been general counsel since December 2007.

Smart told the Springfield News-Leader it's premature to talk about what might happen 18 or 24 months from now.

But he also said he would consider vying for the opening if he's successful at leading the school, enjoys the role and gains acceptance from the faculty.

MSU Board of Governors member Gordon Elliott said Smart has to "prove himself," but he adds that the "possibility is there."

No presidential search timetable has been established.

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