Alcorn State University (ASU) held a Presidential Search Listening Session on Monday, February 5th from 10:30 am – 11:45 am and 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm in the Dr. Rudolph E. Waters Sr. Classroom Building Auditorium. The event was open to the community.
The Listening Session was held by the Board of Trustees and the State Institute of Higher Learning to allow faculty, staff, alumni, students and members within the immediate community surrounding the university a chance to share their concerns about who the next President of Alcorn should be.
Members of the Listening Panel included Dr. Alfred Rankins, Commissioner of Higher Education; Powell “Gee” Ogletree Jr.; Board of Trustees, Teresa Hubbard, Board of Trustees; Hal Parker, Board of Trustees; Chip Morgan, Board of Trustees, and Jenny Lucky, Board of Trustees, who joined the session virtually.
Members of the audience with comments were instructed to approach the mic, state their name and their affiliation with ASU. There was no specific time limit for the individuals that had comments, but they were asked by Dr. Rankins to be considerate of other speakers following them. Dr. Rankins also emphasized to the audience that the process of selecting candidates had not yet begun and it was premature to discuss any potential applicants.
Erin Nichols, a Biology Pre-Professional major from Canton, Mississippi and the current Miss Freshman 2023-2024, stated, “Some of the qualities that I’m looking for in a President is someone who is willing to work with students and who will attempt to enforce their ideas, someone who communicates with students when issues arise on campus, someone who knows how to maintain the values of Alcorn with the changes in our generation and someone who keeps an academic catalog updated with the students so that they may become successful and compete in Corporate America.”
The position of President at Alcorn became available when then 20th and first female President, Dr. Felecia M. Nave resigned making Dr. Ontario Wooden the Interim President. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Wooden relinquished the position and Dr. Tracy M. Cook was appointed as the current Interim President of the University.
Lljuna Weir, Interim Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, stated, “I would love to see the next President walk Alcorn like Dr. Rankins did when he was here. We want someone of your character with the love that we all have as Alcornites. We’re looking for that perfect fit. Someone from the local community that deals with local, national, and international entities that can come home and share that knowledge with us.”