MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The search for a new Alabama State University president likely will come to an end on Friday, Sept. 8.

The Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. that day to announce its selection.

The four finalists for the position — Sen. Quinton T. Ross Jr., Robert C. Mock Jr., Tony Atwater and Willie D. Larkin — were announced in August. Those finalists were chosen by the presidential search committee after a two-week application window in early July. The committee did not interview any of the candidates, committee member and Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Harris said. Instead the committee reviewed about 50 applications with names and identifying information redacted and chose the four finalists based on their resumes and cover letters.

The first and only interviews conducted with any applicants were conducted last week when ASU hosted the finalists. There the candidates met with the Board of Trustees, ASU alumni, faculty, community members and students.

Ross, an Alabama senator and runner-up for the job when Gwendolyn Boyd was selected in 2013, is expected to be selected, although some alumni and community members said they were impressed by Mock, the former president of Johnson and Wales University’s Charlotte campus. Ross is the only finalist without previous experience as president of a university and is also the only finalist who is an ASU alumnus.

The ASU president search has been circuitous since Boyd was fired in December 2016.

After halting the presidential search in March, the Board of Trustees renewed the search in April and added six members to the presidential search committee.

On June 19, the Board of Trustees approved the requirements they desired in a candidate: administrative experience in a higher educational setting, the ability to build strong teams both inside and outside the university and having attained a doctorate degree or an equivalent.

At the same meeting, the board hired an outside law firm to handle applications and keep those names from going public. Mock, Atwater and Larkin all have Ph.D.s, and Ross obtained an Ed.D. from ASU.

Author photo
ANDREW J. YAWN
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.