Harris-Stowe State University Board of Regents presidential search committee

The Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) Board of Regents has convened a Presidential Search Committee, chaired by Board of Regents Vice-Chair Vanessa Cooksey and comprised of HSSU board members, faculty, a student, administrator, staff, and alumni, as well as representatives from the business and civic community.

“This is a critical search, not only for Harris-Stowe, but also for the State of Missouri,” Cooksey said in a statement.

The university has retained AGB Search, which was founded by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) in 2010, to provide executive search consulting services. It claims to be “the only firm that specializes in all aspects of executive search exclusively for higher education institutions.” The national search is underway and expected to conclude in the spring of 2020.

The committee will assist AGB Search in recruiting and evaluating a strong and diverse pool of candidates to succeed former president Dwaun J. Warmack. Warmack, who took office August 2014, left in July to lead Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina as its ninth president. Warmack’s successor will be HSSU’s 20th president.

The members of the search committee connected to HSSU include Cooksey; Ronald Norwood, HSSU Board of Regents chair, an attorney at Lewis Rice; James Fogt, vice president, HSSU IT Services; Lea Sutherlin, interim director of alumni relations, liaison to the Board of Regents and an HSSU alumna; Owolabi Tiamyu, associate professor of accounting and former president of faculty senate for HSSU; Edwin Bailey, HSSU alumnus; and Reid Chunn, HSSU student in the College of Arts and Sciences from the Class of 2020.

The community members of the search committee include David Dawkins, managing director of diverse client segments, Wells Fargo Advisors; Michael Middleton, deputy chancellor emeritus, professor emeritus of law, University of Missouri; Kathy Reeves, assistant vice president of corporate community relations, Enterprise Holdings; and Donald M. Suggs, publisher and executive director of The St. Louis American and president of The St. Louis American Foundation.

“In addition to following a very structured process that ensures confidentiality and respect for all candidates, the search committee is taking time to listen to a variety of people to determine what role Harris-Stowe plays in the future of the St. Louis region,” Cooksey stated.

“We are being intentional about stakeholder engagement and casting a wide net for talent so that the next president will continue to advance the university in alignment with the needs of its students, faculty, staff and alumni and with clear support from business and civic leaders at the local, state, national and even global levels.”

Dwayne Smith, HSSU provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, is serving as interim president of the university.

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