IHL delays decision on JSU president

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Rogelio V. Solis, AP

Commissioner of Higher Education Glenn Boyce

The Board of Trustees of the Institutions of Higher Learning met in executive session for three hours Thursday, but did not report any progress in selecting a new president for Jackson State University.

“We are not ready to move forward as yet. We are still deliberating,” said Trustee C.D. Smith, head of the board search committee.

“We aren’t reopening. It’s not closed. At this time we are just continuing. There are no conclusions or decisions. We are still looking and considering what we have,” Smith said.

The board search committee will meet again before the regularly scheduled June IHL board meeting, said Commissioner Glenn Boyce.

According to the tentative schedule announced by Smith in February, the board’s preferred candidate would be on the Jackson State campus May 17 to meet with constituents.

The first round of interviews began in April, but the board has not released any names.

On Tuesday, Yolanda R. Owens, president of the Jackson State University National Alumni Association, sent a letter to Boyce and Smith requesting the IHL board of trustees “respect the recommendations” made by the eight people selected to serve on the Interview Search Advisory Committee, representing the administration, faculty, staff, students, foundation, community and alumni of JSU.

The letter did not specify the group’s recommendations.

Last October, the Institutes of Higher Learning trustees reported Jackson State’s cash reserves declined from $37 million to $4 million over the past four years. JSU President Dr. Carolyn Myers resigned a few days later, and Dr. Rod Paige was named interim president in November.

“Jackson State has great potential. We need someone to maximize on that potential, fiscal affairs aside,” Boyce said on Thursday.