Semifinalists for NSU president chosen


Timothy Holdiness

Northwestern State University Presidential Search Committee meet to choose six finalists for President of NSU.

The search continues for the next president of Northwestern State University of Louisiana after former President Chris Maggio retired and Marcus Jones stepped in as interim president in June.

The board of supervisors for the University Presidential Search Committee met on Thursday, Oct. 14 through a live Zoom call at 1 p.m. that streamed on the University of Louisiana System YouTube page.

“The purpose of today’s meeting is to review the applicant materials and select candidates to interview for the position of president at Northwestern State University,” the committee chair, Jim Henderson, University of Louisiana system president and former Northwestern State University of Louisiana president, said.

The committee previously held a public forum on the Natchitoches campus, hearing views concerning their wants and needs for the new leader of NSU.

Henderson reported that there were advertisements published in The Advocate, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, HigherEd Jobs, Women in Higher Education and The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.

“System staff engaged in recruiting efforts to solicit candidates that would be a good fit for Northwestern,” Henderson said.

A website was also launched with information about the position and university.
Henderson said that after careful vetting of the materials received by applicants, they had identified 13 candidates for consideration by the committee.

After a two hour executive session, the committee returned with NSU Faculty President John Dunn reporting the six semi-finalist candidates, who will be invited to the campus to be interviewed and undergo continued extensive background checks.

There are three candidates from Northwest Louisiana.

Nancy D. Albers, the College of Business international experience coordinator from Louisiana State University in Shreveport, Marcus D. Jones, the current interim president of NSU and Virginia Van Sickle-Burkett, the chief scientist for climate and land use change at the United States Department of Interior.

The other three candidates hail from outside of Louisiana.

Darrell P. Kruger, the former provost and executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, Kim M. Labuff, the vice president of Divisions of Academic Engagement and Student Affairs and the chief diversity officer at the University of West Florida, Pensacola and Jeremy L. Thomas, the current interim president of Oklahoma City Community College.

The members of the search committee were voting and nonvoting members.

Henderson was a non voting member along with NSU Student Government Association President Tja’h Edwards, NSU Foundation President John Manno, Jr, NSU Alumni Association President Patricia Hrapmann, NSU Alumni Association Nikki Caeser-Small, NSU Foundation Member Mike Knotts and retired dean of the School of Creative and Performing Arts Bill Brent.

The voting members were NSU Faculty Senate President John Dunn, Student Board Member L’Oreal Williams and board members of the UL system Jimmy Clarke, Alejandro Perkins, Barry Busada, Joe Salter, Elizabeth Pierre and Lola Dunahoe.

On Monday, Nov. 8 the full board of supervisors for the UL system will vote to select the next NSU president.
A copy of the six semi-finalist candidate’s letters of interest as well as CV’s were published to the website