Top Three Finalists Selected in Presidential Search

Posted on: March 23, 2011

Three finalists have been selected in the search for Tennessee Wesleyan College's 21st president.

Since May 2010, the presidential search committee – whose members include TWC trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the local community and Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church – has carefully defined the qualities needed in a president and reviewed more than 100 qualified applicants and nominees for the position. The committee also utilized the services and expertise of former Indiana Wesleyan University President Dr. Jim Barnes of the search firm RPA Inc. in the selection process.

After meeting with six semifinalists earlier this month, the committee has selected three finalists who will be brought to campus for visits at different intervals between Thursday, March 31, and Thursday, April 7, to meet with members of both the TWC and Athens communities.

While names of the finalists will be released at a later date to provide the individuals an opportunity to inform their current institutions of their candidacy, search committee chairman and TWC Trustee Joe Riley said both the college and the community can rest assured that these three professionals hold all of the qualities the college needs for a successful future.

"The committee has put in many hours of work to ensure Tennessee Wesleyan gets a new president who will be a good fit for both the college and the community. While our six semifinalists were all stellar professionals, these three finalists bring with them the most applicable experience, as well as the leadership and character qualities our campus community needs and desires," Riley said. "For more than 150 years, Tennessee Wesleyan College has provided a great education to students who have made great contributions in their respective fields and in communities across the globe. Our next president will be in charge of carrying that tradition forward."

Riley noted that, following each candidate's visit to campus, search committee members will be seeking input from students, faculty, staff and the community in order to make an appropriate decision.

"We value that feedback and look forward to hearing from the entire TWC community," Riley said. "It will aid us greatly in making the best decision possible to ensure a bright future for the college."

Riley has led the committee along with the Rev. Dennie Humphreys and Greg Moses, who served as vice chairman and secretary, respectively. Riley and Humphreys are both members of the TWC Board of Trustees, while Moses is a community representative.

Other committee members include TWC Board chairman Jim Winer and Board members Steve Byrum, Bill Kilbride, Buddy Liner, Dr. Lynn Massingale, Claire Tucker, Maj. Gen. Fred Womack (USAF-Ret.), Shirley Woodcock, Paul Ottaviano, Matt Brookshire, Regenia Mayfield and Holston Conference Bishop James Swanson. Faculty members on the committee include Drs. Grant Willhite, Patti Jones and Elizabeth Ruleman, professors in the biology, education and English departments, respectively. Staff representatives include senior vice president Larry Wallace and Cindy Runyan, executive assistant to the president. Student Government Association President Nathan Ervin serves as the student representative. Tenna Hornsby, president of the Alumni Board, serves as alumni representative. Former TWC Board of Trustees member Becky Jaquish is a community and Holston Conference representative.

The position became vacant following the resignation of former president Dr. Stephen Condon in April 2010. Long-time TWC administrator, faculty member and coach Stan Harrison is currently serving as the college's interim president.