The nationwide search for a new president at Drury University has come to an end. The school intends to release the name of the finalist following election by the Board of Trustees Friday afternoon. A meet-and-greet is planned for Saturday morning.
The position became available in late October when the current president, Dr. David Manuel, announced plans to retire this May.
The search process was led by a committee of board members, faculty, staff and alumni. Board Chair Lyle Reed was unavailable for comment Thursday. But in an interview this week with the Springfield News-Leader, he said around 200 people applied for the position, including 30 current and former college presidents.
The quality of applicants was a product of the committee’s confidential, targeted search style, said Reed.
Working in tandem with a national search firm, the hundreds of interested parties were narrowed to 10 semifinalists. Four were brought in for face-to-face interviews before a single candidate emerged. Reed offered little details of the finalist to the paper, other than it is a male, who has a strong record of leadership, fundraising and community involvement.
The new hire comes in the wake of declining enrollment numbers and several staff/faculty cuts within the past year, which the paper cites as reasoning for an estimated $3 million reduction during this year and next. It is to be achieved largely through the faculty reductions announced in the fall and normal attrition.
A meet-and-greet with the 18th president of Drury University will take place from 8:30-9:30 am Saturday in the Plaster Gallery of the O’Reilly Family Event Center.