Since President Robert Henry announced his plan to step down as president in June 2018, many are wondering who will fill his role.
The presidential search committee conducted focus groups to get a sense of the qualities and characteristics students, faculty and staff are looking for in the next president. The committee will narrow down the search to one to three candidates for approval before the decision goes to the board of trustees. Board Chairman Ron Norick also chairs the search committee. He said a candidate probably will be chosen by April 18.
The role can be daunting, so the new president has to be ready. Candidates need to be comfortable talking to students, faculty, staff, and trustees of all ages and from all backgrounds. OCU is a unique, diverse campus, and the new president should be able to lead this community and bring people together.
Candidates also should be active on campus and interact with the student community often. When Henry won The Campus Best Of’s “Best Administrator” designation, students commented about how approachable he is.
“He talks to students like they’re the most important people,” said Carly Youngberg, English sophomore, in the Best Of edition.
The new president should be able to make students feel the same way. Candidates must understand the student community and listen to what students have to say. When students take a stand and voice their opinions, the president should listen, rather than silencing them. Open communication is the best way to foster a healthy relationship between students and administration.
Aside from being personable, the president also must be good with money. Candidates need to know about handling finances and hire people who will manage money well-connections with donors and people from the community are definitely a plus.
University president is a large, demanding position. The new president should have practical and personable skills and connections they will use to benefit students.