Board to announce president Nov. 3

Trustees are expected to name the next university president Nov. 3 during a called board session.

Three candidates each spent two days on campus interacting with students, faculty, staff and the community during the past few weeks.

“The board faces a very tough decision Nov. 3,” said trustee and Presidential Search Committee Chairman Joel Anderson. “We were lucky to have such a qualified pool of candidates. I have confidence in all three that were brought to campus.”

Officials look to fill the position left vacant when William Cale announced his retirement effective July 1 via email to faculty and staff in March.

Cale remains at UNA in a consulting president emeritus role through Dec. 31.

Former Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost John Thornell serves as interim president until his successor is named.

Cale and Thornell both retain the full presidential salary and benefits package.

Both are paid $20,909 per month, according to the university spending website.

Cale is expected to make $125,454 in his current six-month role.

Anderson said Thornell continues to lead the university in a positive direction.

“We don’t have anything to worry about because we have John Thornell leading the way,” Anderson said. “He will continue moving forward with current projects and implementing new ones as he sees fit.”

The candidates all displayed qualities of a successful president from a student perspective, said search committee student representative Laura Giles.

“I feel very confident they will always keep students at the center of their decisions,” Giles said. “We only brought candidates we thought would serve campus best.”

The committee initially announced it had received 46 applications for the position in September.

Anderson said the committee narrowed the pool to 19 before selecting nine candidates to interview at Huntsville International Airport.

“From there, we saw potential in four highly qualified candidates,” he said.

Robin Capehart dropped from the search before his scheduled campus visit.

Trustee Steve Smith said he was pleased with the level of experience each visiting candidate displayed.

“They all have the potential to continue the growth UNA has seen,” Smith said. “I am confident any of the candidates will do an excellent job.”

Candidate Kenneth Kitts is the current provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke; Randall Hanna is the current chancellor for the Florida College System; Sandra Jordan is the current chancellor for the University of South Carolina Aiken.

The board will meet at 1 p.m. Nov. 3 in GUC Room 208.

Interim Communications Director Bryan Rachal said the meeting agenda includes a call for executive session, which requires a quorum, a motion by a trustee and a majority vote of the board to enter.

According to Alabama Law, formal or informal votes may not be taken during such time, and a person’s qualifications for a position may not be discussed.

However, discussing a person’s good name and character is grounds for executive session, according to the Alabama Open Meetings Act.

Follow @UNA_FlorAla on Twitter for live updates throughout the board meeting Nov. 3.