As Dixie State University students traveled, shopped, or lounged at home watching Netflix during winter break, State Board of Regents named the members of the committee responsible for searching for the next president.
In a news release, Pamela Silberman, former Director of Communications at Utah System of Higher Education, said the committee is composed of 22 individuals who are members of the Board of Regents, board of trustees, staff, students, DSU alumni, and St. George community members.
The forums will be open to the general public so the committee can obtain opinion from the community during the search.
Meanwhile, President Stephen Nadauld plans to stay in office until July 1 in order to equip the new president with a smooth transition into the position.
Kathleen Briggs, president of the staff association, said her position on the committee fell in her lap unexpectedly.
“Sitting next to me was Ken Richmond, and he and I strongly asked that the staff, who makes up the majority of employees on campus, be represented,” Briggs said. “Instead of the suggestions that we made, he and I both landed on the committee.”
Briggs laughed and said she has fears associated with being on the committee because she doesn’t have the qualifications that other committee members have. As she’s expressed her reservations to her friends, they advised her to simply listen.
As her name has shown up on various lists and official papers, she’s had community members seek her out and tell her what they want in a new president. One person’s advice was that the committee choose someone who understands the importance of keeping the community involved.
“If this president acts as though the university is independent from the community, it will be the death of the university,” Briggs said.
DSU Alumna Sydney Prisbrey said Nadauld made a lot of changes to the university since she attended.
“Getting a new president is always refreshing not only for the university, but for the community as well,” Prisbrey said.
Although Prisbrey isn’t a member of the search committee, she is an active community member. One quality she would look for in a candidate is awareness of student development and activity.
“A president needs to be about his people,” Prisbrey said. “It’s as simple as that.”
In agreement, Briggs also said a president shouldn’t be too involved with administration and more involved with staff and student life.
“He has a staff to get all hung up on the administrative part,” Briggs said. “Let them do that part. President Nadauld has done that well.”
Student Body President Carlos Morgan said he is excited to represent students on the committee.
“Representing the students, in my opinion, is probably one of the most significant demographics,” Morgan said. “[It’s] more important than the community and more important than the staff. I mean, why are people here? It’s because of the students.”
One quality that Briggs said is important in a president is for him or her to listen to the staff’s concerns, just like Nadauld did.
“I’ve never brought a concern to [Nadauld] that wasn’t acted upon,” Briggs said. “He would either find some kind of explanation or more frequently there would be a resolution. If I could have someone like that again, that would be nice.”
Morgan emphasized the importance of choosing a president who exemplifies many qualities Nadauld has.
“I don’t know if it’s possible to be better than President Nadauld,” Morgan said. “[We want] someone who has the students in mind as much as he does.”