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Missouri State Welcomes Third Presidential Candidate, Announces Fourth

The search for the next president of Missouri State University continues. KSMU's Royal Yates has more.

The third of four candidates for the job visited MSU’s Springfield campus on Monday. Dr. Sona Andrews is provost and vice president for academic affairs as well as a geosciences professor at Boise State University.

A large audience gathered in the Plaster Student Union Theatre where Andrews voiced seven lessons she has learned as a university administrator. She said everything a university does is all about its students, faculty and staff are the most valuable asset of the university, it’s easier to retain integrity than regain it, a university must have a vision, there is wisdom in a crowd, the process of making a decision is important, and people shouldn’t sit and hope issues will go away – they need to plan and act.

She explained why she should be the next president of Missouri State.

“When I’m asked what I think the biggest issues facing higher education are, I always start about funding. I then talk about access and affordability, and I talk about accountability. I think in the president’s role, it’s very important to take accountability for the institution.”

After a brief speech, Andrews took questions from the audience. One issue that came up was diversity. Andrews assured the audience that diversity is something she will focus on if she gets the job at MSU.

“I think it’s really incumbent upon us to be able to work as hard as we can to get as much diversity as we can into the pools that we have.”

The final candidate for Missouri State president has also been announced. Dr. James Cofer, Sr., president of the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He’ll be visiting campus today and tomorrow.

For KSMU News, I’m Royal Yates.