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No insiders join list of contenders for UT job

When the University of Toledo's presidential search committee meets Thursday to whittle down the number of candidates, it will have 45 from which to choose.

Seventeen people, including two former UT administrators and the president of Shawnee State University in southern Ohio, have applied since the university's preferred date for receiving applications passed Dec. 8.

Twenty-nine people, one of whom has since taken another position, applied before Dec. 8.

The application pool remains void of current UT employees. It includes six sitting college presidents or interim presidents, many high-ranking college officers, and two applicants from private business.

The school is seeking a president to succeed Dr. Vik Kapoor, who resigned in June after 17 months in office. William Decatur, vice president for finance and business services, was named interim president.

Among the latest candidates are:

  • Dr. James P. Chapman, president since 1998 of Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. The institution is one of the state's 13 public universities and has an enrollment of 3,430 students.

  • Dr. Richard A. Crofts, commissioner of higher education for the Montana University System.

  • Dr. John Haeger, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs and history professor at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

  • Dr. William Ruud, senior policy director for Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne and professor of management at Boise State University.

    Dr. Crofts worked for 16 years at UT as a history professor and as associate dean of the graduate school and associate director of the office of research. He left in 1984 to become associate vice president for research and dean of the graduate school at East Tennessee State University.

    Dr. Haeger was one of eight semifinalists for the post of UT president in 1998. He took his name out of consideration, citing personal reasons. Dr. Haeger was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Towson University near Baltimore at the time.

    Dr. Ruud was an administrator and professor at UT's college of business from 1985 to 1993. He served in a number of positions, including interim dean of the business college and associate vice president of student affairs.

    He left to take a position at Boise State University, where he is a former vice president for institutional advancement.

    UT's 18-member presidential search committee will meet at noon Thursday in the student union to discuss reference checks and candidates' attributes and to narrow the list to about 10 or 12 people, Joan Uhl Browne, a UT trustee who chairs the search committee, said.

    “The goal is to come out of the meeting with a decision about who to do reference checks on,” said Dr. Elaine Hairston, a consultant with Academic Search Consultation Service in Washington, who is aiding in the search.

    Interviews with selected candidates are expected to take place next month.

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