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02/18/2015

President Search Committee Names Finalists for Eleventh President

Quick Facts

 Each of the candidates will be on the Rock Hill campus over the next two weeks for interviews with the Board of Trustees, senior staff, the Academic Leadership Council, a select group of faculty leaders and student leaders, and the Staff Assembly.
 The Winthrop Board of Trustees will then choose the individual who will become the institutions's 11th president.

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Jeff Elwell
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Dan Mahony
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Alan Shao

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - In the search for Winthrop University’s next president, three finalists were named Feb. 18 by a committee that has been working with a consultant to narrow a list of more than 80 active candidates.

The finalists are:
Dr. J. Scott (Jeff) Elwell, dean and professor; College of Arts and Sciences, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Dr. Daniel F. Mahony, dean and professor, College of Education, Health and Human Services, Kent State University.

Dr. Alan T. Shao, dean and professor, School of Business, College of Charleston.

Each of the candidates will be on the Rock Hill campus over the next two weeks for interviews with the Board of Trustees, senior staff, the Academic Leadership Council, a select group of faculty leaders and student leaders, and the Staff Assembly. The Winthrop University Board of Trustees will then choose the individual who will become the institution's 11th president.

The finalists were chosen by an eight-member committee made up of representatives of the Board of Trustees and the chair of Faculty Conference. They have worked on the search with assistance from R. William Funk and Associates, a Texas-based higher education consulting firm.

"We feel these three finalists best reflect the qualities outlined in the leadership profile that was developed with input provided through campus and community conversations," said Board of Trustees Chair Kathy Bigham, who chaired the search committee along with Faculty Conference Chair and Representative to the Board John Bird, professor of English.

Bigham said the board will make its choice in mid-March, with the new president to begin work by July 1.

Each of the finalists 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. Elwell will be on campus Feb. 22-24; Dr. Mahony on Feb. 25-27; and Dr. Shao on March 1-3.

More on the candidates:
J. Scott (Jeff) Elwell, dean and professor, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC)

Dr. Elwell (Ph.D. in speech communication and theater) oversees 17 departments and a budget of $29 million in state funds and more than $13 million in private funds at the UTC. Over the past three years, the college has added 11 new faculty positions, converted eight lecturer lines to tenure-track positions, and created a Research and Creative Activity grant program. He also served as provost and special assistant to the chancellor for strategic initiatives at Auburn University at Montgomery, as dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at East Carolina University, and as chair of the Department of Theatre at Marshall University and the University of Nebraska. He has experience in building construction and renovations in four states, in freshman retention and fundraising, and is committed to diversity in all of its manifestations. He has written, directed and produced more than 100 plays, with more than a dozen showing in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and overseas. His son, Preston, is a Winthrop freshman.

Daniel F. Mahony, dean and professor, College of Education, Health and Human Services, Kent State University

Dr. Mahony (Ph.D. in sport management) has served as dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State since 2008. Prior to that job, he worked in numerous capacities at the University of Louisville, including as program director, department chair, associate dean, assistant provost and associate provost. He has experience in strategic planning, student learning assessment, program review, budget management and accreditation. He also has been successful in enrollment increases at both institutions, as well as increasing external support, developing communications and marketing improvements, and enhancing student life. He has served in several leadership roles in professional organizations at the state and national level. An active researcher, he has published more than 50 articles in various refereed journals and won the 2007 Earle F. Zeigler Award from the North American Society for Sport Management for his career contributions as a researcher.

Alan T. Shao, dean and professor, School of Business, College of Charleston

Dr. Shao (Ph.D. in marketing, minor in statistics) has developed new majors, degrees, and programs and increased his school's enrollment by 35 percent and gift fundraising by more than 90 percent at the College of Charleston since his arrival in 2009. He spent nearly 20 years at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he was the N.C. Ports professor of marketing and associate dean of Professional and Graduate Programs. He has held leadership roles on boards, including as president of the North Carolina World Trade Association and the Charlotte World Trade Association. He has been the recipient of teaching and research awards throughout his 25 years in education. A prolific contributor to advertising research, he has written three marketing research textbooks, submitted more than 50 refereed journal articles, made more than 100 presentations around the world, built and operated companies, and served as a consultant to numerous companies. He has traveled extensively overseas.

For more information on the candidates, check the president search website or contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or at longshawj@winthrop.edu.


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