The name of the new president, taking the reins presumably in July, will be released Friday afternoon, after the regents formally vote to authorize negotiations with the candidate.
That board meeting is set to begin at 3:30 p.m. Friday. After the vote, the name will be made public.
Following the release of the name, a five-day public notice waiting period will go into effect. During this time, negotiations with the candidate will take place.
Assuming those negotiations are successful, formal appointment is expected to be made late next Friday.
Dr. Beheruz Sethna, the current UWG president, announced his retirement last August and set his last day at work as president for June 30. The new president will presumably take office directly following Sethna’s depature.
The university was visited in the past few weeks by five candidates, who toured the campus and were interviewed by different stakeholders in the university’s future.
Those five candidates who visited were:
• Dr. Kyle Marrero, vice president for university advancement at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Fla.;
• Dr. John Crafton, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Clayton State University in Morrow, Ga.;
• Dr. Michael Lane, president of Emporia State University in Emporia, Kan.;
• Dr. James Berry, executive vice president and provost at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas;
• Dr. Charles Patterson, vice president for research and economic development for Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga.
Of those five men, three names were sent forward by the Presidential Search and Screen Committee, a group of 18 UWG faculty and staff members, as well as community leaders, who coordinated the visits and screened the nominees.
Those three finalists that were sent on to the board of regents for perusal were not permitted to be released before the board meets today, said John Millsaps, associate vice chancellor of media and publications for the board.
Dr. Don Rice, chairman of the psychology department at UWG and of the search committee, said the group was “very pleased” with the three names sent to the higher board.
“All of them have varying strengths that would be a great fit for West Georgia,” Rice said.
Rice praised the different groups of university supporters who showed up and gave feedback on the five candidates who visited.
“We had everyone from students to deans to vice presidents — and plenty of community members — give us great feedback, which really helped us choose the three we sent up,” Rice said.
Sethna is currently the longest-serving university president in Georgia, among both public and private institutions.
The president’s 19 years on UWG’s campus will not end with his retirement, however. He plans to continue his work as a professor of business administration.
At the time of his announcement, Sethna said the decision was “very difficult,” and included some personal considerations.
“I have worked at this job approximately 20 hours a day, seven days a week, 360 days a year, to the detriment of all other parts of my life,” he said in an email to faculty and staff announcing his retirement in August. “The time has come for me to realize that there actually exists a world outside of my UWG world.”