Three finalists to be the ninth president of East Tennessee State University were selected Thursday for on-campus visits next week.
The following three people were selected from a pool of eight semi-finalists interviewed Wednesday and Thursday at the Millennium Centre by the ETSU presidential search advisory committee:
— Robert Frank, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Kent State University.
— Brian Noland, chancellor at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.
— Sandra Patterson-Randles, president of Indiana University Southeast.
Frank was interviewed Wednesday. He was asked the same set of questions that was asked of each candidate. In his introduction, Frank said he was from a military family. He decided early in his career he wanted to pursue higher education administration with a goal of one day becoming a university president.
His first experience was in public health at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he worked with people who had catastrophic or debilitating injuries. He did clinical work in teaching and went through all the professor ranks at that school.
Frank worked in Washington on health care legislation in the early 1990s. In 1994, he became a dean of public health at a Florida school, where he helped establish a college of public health. He wanted to broaden his academic experience in the arts and sciences, so he sought and got his current position at Kent State.
Patterson-Randles was the first candidate interviewed Thursday.
She was born in Chicago as the first of seven children, which she credited with helping her develop a management style that takes into account multiple personalities of those around her.
Patterson-Randles originally wanted to be a doctor and studied ballet for 14 years, but said she found education was her niche. She has been at eight higher education institutions throughout her career, which included teaching positions. She has been at IUS for 10 years.
She said her school has a mandatory retirement age of 65. But at 63, she said she was in her prime and wanted a new challenge as her reason for seeking the ETSU presidency.
Noland, who also was interviewed Thursday, has been at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission for a few years. He was very familiar with ETSU and said he believes in the mission, values and people of ETSU and the region, saying higher education changes lives.
Noland, from Sterling, Va., told the committee he did not have all the answers for the challenges that face ETSU, but thought he could help the school move toward those answers.
Meetings with the finalists will take place at ETSU’s D.P. Culp University Center beginning Monday. A detailed schedule of next week’s meetings and receptions will be available on the Tennessee Board of Regents website –– www.tbr.edu.
All of the campus forums will be streamed live through a link available at that website as well.
Search committee members, comprised of campus, business, community and TBR members, also will participate in the meetings and gather information from the community about the finalists. TBR Chancellor John Morgan will then speak with each committee member about the finalists and recommend one person to the full board for approval.
In addition to Frank, three other candidates were interviewed Wednesday –– Cheryl Scheid, vice chancellor for academic, faculty and student affairs and dean at University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center; Richard Manahan, vice president for university advancement and president/CEO of the Foundation at ETSU; and Ronald Brown, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Wayne State University.
Besides Patterson-Randles and Noland, two other candidates were interviewed Thursday –– Jack Maynard, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Indiana State University and Michael Wartell, chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.
After the final interview Thursday afternoon, an anonymous vote was held by the committee and the three finalists were chosen to proceed to the next step.
Originally, 49 people had applied for the ETSU presidency. That number was narrowed by the search committee to the eight interviewed this week.
Current ETSU President Paul E. Stanton Jr. plans to retire in January.