WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Sept. 30, 2020 — West Liberty University Presidential Search Committee met today in historic Shaw Hall to begin the process of replacing President Stephen Greiner who is retiring.
Due to the pandemic and other changes, the original search was delayed in March, then shelved in August and reopened on Aug. 27.
“This has been a national search and we are pleased to report that we’ve attracted a healthy field of qualified candidates with about 70 in the initial pool of applicants,” said Rich Lucas, chairman of WLU’s Board of Governors and chair of the 2020 Presidential Search Committee.
Of the initial 70 applicants, 64 were qualified and this group includes current presidents and vice presidents at other institutions, according to Lucas.
“It is a diverse group that includes both women and candidates of color,” he noted.
After today’s meeting with the committee, the qualified list of candidates was trimmed down to 13 candidates who will be invited to interview via Zoom meetings with the Search Committee. These Zoom interviews will take place next week.
Candidates who make it through the round of Zoom meetings, will then be invited to campus for on-campus interviews, which will include meeting students, staff, faculty and the committee.
After this, the Search Committee, with input from all campus constituencies, will meet to select the finalists.
The Board of Governors then interviews finalists for president. The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission also sends a designee who will attend the final interviews and must concur with the selection of the successful candidate.
“The goal is to have an announcement of the new president by the end of October,” said Lucas.
The new president is expected to take office in January 2021.
President Greiner agreed to stay on as president until Thanksgiving, Nov. 26 and will continue his duties throughout Fall Commencement, which will be a virtual ceremony planned for Nov. 21.
The last official day of class is planned for Tuesday, Nov. 24 due to COVID-19 safety concerns. Final exams will be online and are scheduled for Nov. 28 – Dec. 4, allowing students to remain at home after Thanksgiving break.
President Greiner first announced his anticipated June 30, 2020 retirement in November 2019 but stayed on due to COVID-19 and the March 2020 delay of the search due to the pandemic.