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Presidential Search 2020


The Board of Governors has begun a search for the next president of West Virginia State University (WVSU) and encourages expressions of interest in this unique opportunity for leadership. The next president has an opportunity to lead WVSU to new levels of institutional achievement and distinction, in part by building on the legacy of the institution and the existing strengths and accomplishments. The ideal leader will bring both stable leadership and dynamic changes to the University at a critical time in its history. WVSU seeks a leader who will embrace and foster the rich heritage and identity of West Virginia State University as a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) that has transformed to meet the needs of the community. The next president will demonstrate a commitment to the University’s historical focus on the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, sustainability, civic engagement, and social justice.

meet the finalists

West Virginia State University offers an extraordinary yet challenging leadership opportunity for its next president. The University seeks a visionary president to build upon its history and the achievements of the past. WVSU has made significant progress during the past decade and seeks to continue on a path of growth and innovation while it continues to address its long-term issues of funding and development.

West Virginia State University is an HBCU and an 1890 Land-Grant Institution. As such, it maintains its state-widemission in agriculture, community development, research and extension services. The University also seeks to expand its Land-Grant activity and further develop its other and related research endeavors to better assert its place within the state-supported higher education community in West Virginia.

WVSU offers a comprehensive set of undergraduate degree programs across the arts, liberal arts, social sciences, sciences, and technology. As well, the university maintains quality programs in business and education. Advanced programs include biotechnology, social work, media, criminal justice, and political science. The University has also developed online programs across several disciplines, some in conjunction with its extension work.

Download full position profile
The Presidential Search Committee is Chaired by Ms. Katherine L. Dooley, Charleston area attorney, and Secretary for the Board of Governors. The search committee is composed of a cross section of university stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, administration and the local community.

The Presidential Search Committee:
  • Ms. Katherine L. Dooley- Chair, and Secretary, Board of Governors
  • Dr. Ann Brothers Smith-Search Committee Presiding Officer, and member of the Board of Governors
  • Mr. Charles E. Jones, Jr.-Chair, Board of Governors 
  • Mr. Mark Kelley-Vice Chair, Board of Governors
  • Ms. Gail E. Pitchford-Member, Board of Governors 
  • Ms. Deja Smoot-Student Representative, Board of Governors
  • Dr. Frank Vaughan-Faculty Representative, Board of Governors 
  • Ms. Trina Sweeney- Director, WVSU Campus Life for Student Life and Engagement
  • Mr. Mark Pendleton-Chair, WVSU Foundation President
  • Mr. Nate Burton-Director of WVSU Athletics
  • Dr. Lateef Saffore-President, WVSU National Alumni Association 
  • Ms. Betty Spencer-Representative, WVSU National ‘W’ Club
  • Mr. William Sawyers-Retired Director, Nationwide Retirement Solutions 
  • Ms. Kathy Ferguson- Real Estate Management
  • Dr. Jose Toledo-Associate Vice President Research and Public Service, WVSU Research & Development Corporation
  • Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker (Ex-Officio)-Interim Chancellor, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
  • Dr. DeNeia Thomas-Presidential Search Committee Designated University Liaison
The Search is conducted by AGBSearch under the direction of Dr. Kim Bobby and Dr. Carlton Brown. 

Presidential Search Process and Timeline

Presidential Search Process and Timeline

To view the timeline as a PDF file click here.
Date:  June 12, 2020
To:     West Virginia State University Community
From:  Kitty L. Dooley, Chair
           WVSU Presidential Search Committee
Re:      Presidential Search Update
I pray that your family and you are healthy and well. I am pleased to report that the search for our 12th President is progressing on schedule. The Search Committee met on June 8 and selected the semifinalist candidates whose background and experience are consistent with the qualities and qualifications established for the search. 
While this phase continues to remain confidential, the semifinal candidates have been invited to meet with the Search Committee for preliminary private interviews. Following the completion of these interviews, the Search Committee will select finalists to participate in more extensive on-campus interviews with a broad range of WVSU constituents. These interviews are planned to occur during the week of June 29. Additional information is forthcoming with multiple opportunities inviting your participation to meet the finalists both in person, keeping with social distancing guidelines, and virtually. 
With the guidance of AGB Search, our Search Committee has continued to work with vigilance during this unprecedented time. I extend my heartfelt thanks to each committee member, who have devoted much time and effort to this process. I am pleased with the progress of our search. I will provide an update after the selection of the finalists with more information for you to participate. If you have any questions, please direct them to me, Kitty.dooley@wvstateu.edu. All my best. Go STATE!

March 26, 2020, Update
Date:  March 26, 2020
To:     West Virginia State University Community
From:  Kitty L. Dooley, Chair
           WVSU Presidential Search Committee
Re:      Presidential Search Update
First and foremost, I want to extend my very best wishes to your loved ones and you during this difficult time. Your continued safety and wellbeing are of paramount importance as we all endeavor to address the needs of our family and community as the effects of COVID-19 become widespread.
I wanted to take this opportunity to provide the Yellow Jacket Nation an update regarding the progress made in our search for the next President of West Virginia State University. Your presidential search committee met on March 24, 2020. We received updates from both Interim Chancellor Sarah Tucker, at the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC), and our search consultants at AGB Search regarding both the statewide and the presidential searches nationally. Based on their recommendations and the agreement of the committee, we have decided to continue with our search, extending the deadline for acceptance of applications through June 1, 2020. The updated timeline has been approved by HEPC and is available on the WVSU Presidential Search 2020, webpage West Virginia State 2020 Presidential Search.
We have outstanding and dedicated search committee members who are, despite the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, committed to moving this process forward, involving all constituencies and recommending the very best candidates to the Board of Governors to lead our beloved University. I extend my thanks and gratitude to each of them.
We solicit your support, input and patience as we navigate uncharted waters. You are encouraged to nominate individuals whom you believe will provide visionary, dedicated and effective leadership of WVSU. The presidential search profile developed in consultation with the University campus-community describes the qualities we seek in our next President. The profile may be reviewed from the university presidential search webpage, WVSU 2020 Presidential Search Profile. Your nominations should be sent to Dr. Kim Bobby at kim.bobby@agbsearch.com or Dr. Carlton Brown at: carlton.brown@agbsearch.com.
Thank you for your interest in this important work. Your questions, comments and suggestions are welcome. At the outset of this process, I indicated that I wanted it to be transparent. I will provide periodic updates as warranted. Please stay safe and West Virginia State Strong!
West Virginia State University | P.O. Box 1000, Institute, WV 25112-1000
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Meet the Finalists

Finalist Feedback Survey

Nominations and Applications

For full consideration, applications should be received by June 1, 2020.

Application materials must include:

• A letter of interest stating how the candidate’s experience is applicable to the position, opportunities and challenges, qualifications, and personal attributes expressed in the leadership profile;

• A curriculum vitae or résumé; and

• Names, email addresses, and telephone numbers of five professional references, including the candidate’s professional relationship with each individual.

References will not be contacted without the candidate’s prior consent. All candidate names will remain confidential, with the exception of those individuals invited to final interviews on campus.

Applications should be sent electronically (MS Word or PDF Format) to: WVSUPresident@agbsearch.com

or directed to:

Kim Bobby, Ed.D.
Executive Search Consultant
(253) 861-7738

Carlton E. Brown, Ed.D.
Executive Search Consultant
(912) 247-8661

West Virginia State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. For a detailed statement of its
practices see: www.wvstateu.edu/about/administration/human-resources.aspx
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