ROCK HILL, S.C. – Four finalists to become the next president of Winthrop University were named Jan. 25 by a committee that has been sifting through more than 100 applications and nominations since October.
The finalists are:
• Jeff Braden; dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.
• Jayne Marie Comstock; director of the Executive Leadership Group, American Council on Education, Washington, D.C.
• Elizabeth Dale; vice president of advancement, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa.
• Ulysses Hammond; vice president for administration, Connecticut College, New London, Conn.
Each of the candidates will be in Rock Hill next week for visits with faculty, staff, students and the public. It will then be up to the Winthrop University Board of Trustees to choose the individual who will become the 127-year-old institution's 10th president.
The four finalists were chosen by a 10-person Search and Selection Committee made up of representatives of the board of trustees, Winthrop alumni, the Winthrop Foundation, the Faculty Conference and the Council of Student Leaders.
"This was a very hands-on group," said Committee Chair Kathy Bigham. "We talked with their references, did other research, and then as a group did in-person interviews with a dozen semi-finalists. Six of those and their spouses were asked back for a second round of in-person discussions. Our goal from the outset has been to provide trustees with the names of three to five finalists who have the qualities and qualifications needed to become Winthrop's next president, and these finalists meet that high mark."
Bigham, who is also vice-chair of the Board of Trustees, said the board will make its choice in mid- to late February, with the new president to begin work this summer, following Dr. Anthony DiGiorgio's retirement from the presidency. DiGiorgio, who has led Winthrop for 24 years, will become president emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Public Service.
Before that, however, each candidate will spend three days on the Winthrop campus, where they will make a presentation to the campus community and meet with various groups, including local public officials and media. Dr. Braden will be on campus Jan. 27-29; Dr. Dale on Jan. 30-Feb. 1; Mr. Hammond on Feb. 3-5; and Dr. Comstock on Feb. 6-8.
More on the candidates:
Jeff Braden, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.
Dr. Braden (Ph.D. in Educational Psychology) has held tenure track/tenured appointments at the University of Florida, San Jose State University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and North Carolina State University. He is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association, a member of the Society of the Study of School Psychology and has been a Fulbright scholar in Greece. He has been an associate dean of research and graduate studies at North Carolina State University. In his current position as dean, he oversees a faculty and staff of 575 with a $66 million budget.
Jayne Marie Comstock, director of the Executive Leadership Group, American Council on Education, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Comstock (Ph.D. in Communication) is former provost and vice president for academic affairs at Butler University (July 2008-June 2012) where she is a tenured professor of communication on sabbatical for the 2012-13 year. As Butler's provost, Dr. Comstock provided strategic direction for six colleges, composed of 693 faculty and staff with a $43 million budget. She also served as Butler's interim president during summer 2009 and summer 2011. Prior to her work at Butler, Dr. Comstock was the chief academic officer and professor of communication at Millikin University and Baker University. She also held administrative and faculty posts at Saint Louis University and the University of West Florida.
Elizabeth Dale, vice president of advancement, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa.
Dr. Dale (Ed.D. in Educational Policy, Research and Administration) has served in cabinet-level positions at two research universities, was a part-time faculty member in the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management and successfully managed large-scale university auxiliary enterprises. She was the founding executive director of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Foundation and has been the recipient of an American Council on Education Fellowship. In her current role at Drexel University, she and her team raised more than $81 million in the 2012 fiscal year, a record-breaking year.
Ulysses Hammond, vice president for administration, Connecticut College, New London, Conn.
Mr. Hammond (M.P.A., J.D) for the past 13 years has served as the chief administrative officer of Connecticut College and also is responsible for legal, community and legislative affairs. He is leading the college's $85 million Campus Improvement and Modernization Initiative and plays a key stewardship role in the college's $200 million comprehensive campaign that ends in June 2013. Previously, he led a 1,400-member staff as the executive officer of the District of Columbia Courts, with oversight of a $120 million Congressionally approved budget. He also is board chair of the Lawrence and Memorial Hospital Corporation and has received numerous state, local and national leadership and service awards.
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