New UM System president not likely to be named this week

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 | 6:02 p.m. CST; updated 4:55 p.m. CST, Monday, December 12, 2011

*An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed this statement.

COLUMBIA — It is "extremely unlikely" a new president for the University of Missouri System will be named this week, UM System spokeswoman Jennifer Hollingshead* said Tuesday.

Hollingshead said this after a presidential search advisory committee met for almost five hours with one finalist at Mizzou Arena. The finalist's name was not disclosed.

After the meeting Tuesday, Hal Williamson, chairman of the advisory committee and MU Health Care vice chancellor, said that Warren Erdman, chairman of the UM System Board of Curators, and curator-to-be Craig Van Matre attended the meeting in person and that curators Wayne Goode and David Bradley joined the meeting by phone.

Those curators will present the committee's findings in an executive session Thursday morning when the full board meets as the presidential search committee before public meetings begin at 1 p.m. The session is part of the regularly scheduled December board meeting, held Thursday and Friday at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Erdman will address the presidential search in the scheduled press conference Friday even though the board will not a name a new president.

Williamson said the search for the next president remains a closed, confidential process and that the advisory committee could not comment on any specifics about the candidate. "It's up to the Board of Curators from here," he added.

Erdman said Monday he could not comment on the number of finalists or whether those candidates have been notified of their status as finalists. He said the curators will consider the advisory committee's report Thursday and decide where to go from there at that time.

The search is in its 11th month and began after former President Gary Forsee stepped down in January to care for his ill wife. The advisory committee — made up of students, faculty and alumni from throughout the UM System — is charged with reviewing a list of finalists and providing the board with feedback.

Williamson said the advisory committee operates at the will of the curators and will reconvene if asked to do so.

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