SMSU Transitions: The search for a new president

Kim Watkins, News Editor

When the school’s former president David Danahar retired, Southwest Minnesota State University was put in a state of transition. The search for a new president was underway. During this time, interim president Ronald Wood has taken the reins and has jumpstarted several projects in the past year and a half.
Meanwhile, the search for a new president continued. Three forums were held on Thursday, Sept. 6 for members of the SMSU community. These forums were held:
12 – 1 p.m.(Faculty Forum)
2 – 3 p.m. (SMSU Staff Forum)
3 – 4 p.m. (SMSU Student Forum)
Dr. Betty Asher and assistant, Shelly Sullivan, of Greenwood/Asher & Associates were on hand to discuss and receive feedback from students, faculty and staff to see what was desired and expected in the future president.
“We are here to listen to all stakeholders and learn as much as we can. We are trying to find someone that reflects what we are hearing today,” Dr. Asher said.
Some questions asked during the student forum were what they wanted the president to do, what attributes were the most important to them and what were the points of pride that students have of their campus.
Several students stated that they want someone who will motivate people, easy to talk to, has worked with students before, community based, promotes diversity, handles issues well, a supporter and someone who can connect with all students, faculty and staff.
“We will be talking with prospects…anyone interested in the opportunity. We have a document that we give to prospects who want to know about the campus,” Dr. Asher said.
There will be several different interviews the next president will have to go through in the upcoming months as well as an application review. The new president will start in July 2013.
For any information on the presidential search, go to