Board of Curators hopes to announce new UM System president next week

Friday, December 9, 2011 | 11:31 a.m. CST; updated 11:36 a.m. CST, Friday, December 9, 2011

ST. LOUIS — The UM System Board of Curators hopes to announce a new UM System president sometime next week.

The presidential search committee met in executive session at the University of Missouri-St. Louis Thursday, and board Chairman Warren Erdman said Friday that the committee has completed its work and chosen a new system president.

Erdman said curators must still work out employee agreement details before the new president can be named, but he said he is confident those agreements will be made promptly.

"I'm confident, but it ain't done 'til it's done," he said.

Erdman said he could not speculate on the person or name of the candidate because the hiring has not officially concluded.

The search committee's vote to approve the finalist was unanimous, Erdman said, including a vote from student curator Laura Confer.

The final employee agreement requires ratification by the Board of Curators before any announcement can be made.

Erdman said the search came down to four interviews with candidates, second interviews and telephone follow-ups before the search committee settled on a single finalist. The final candidate was present and interviewed Tuesday at a presidential search advisory committee meeting at Mizzou Arena.

If a president is announced next week, it would conclude a nearly year-long search comprised of dozens of hours spent in private meetings speaking to and reviewing potential candidates.

The search began in January after former President Gary Forsee stepped down to care for his ill wife. Steve Owens has served as interim president since January and has said he plans to return to his former position as system general counsel when a new president is named.

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