Presidential Search Committee actively searches for candidates


Maureen Zambito

From left: Jenna Maguire, contributing writer for The Trumpet, pictured next to Thomas Cervone, search committee chairman and BOG member.

The 2022 West Liberty University’s Presidential Search Committee is in full swing in their pursuit of West Liberty University’s (WLU) 38th president by searching for a professional search firm.

The search committee chairman is Thomas Cervone, a Board of Governor’s member and 1975 WLU graduate. Cervone admits that the original timeline was ambitious and optimistic and that it was clear to the committee that engaging in a search firm would optimize their next steps.

Because of the process to hire an outside firm, an interim is expected to take WLU’s presidential seat this upcoming January. However, Cervone assures that despite the title, the interim will fulfill the duties of a president. The expectations for the temporary president are to respond and act as if they are permanent. Although the committee is unsure of who will take the interim position, Cervone states that they “want someone who is a consensus builder.”

The committee is actively working with Patrick Kelley, WLU’s Director of Purchasing, who can assist them in building a request for proposals (RFP), a document that requests help from third parties to aid them in their search process. The RFP contains a detailed description of characteristics and qualifications that were established to help the selection. The committee aims to work with a firm that has character, integrity and readiness to help and repair.

“This campus right now is in a little bit of flux, and it is nobody’s fault, but when it was clear that it was time to not renew the current president’s contract, we had to find someone who could come in and look at what has happened with the campus and the potential of the university,” Cervone said.

WLU’s presidential committee is aiming to get this search done right. Cervone states “I think we need to do our due diligence in evaluating this person and making sure that we find the right search firm that understands what we want.” Cervone added, “Whomever it is that we will be hiring are going to have to knock us off of our feet.”

The committee wants to ensure that the students have a say in this decision. There have been actions to get the students involved, such as the WLU survey for presidential candidates that was sent out in an email this September. Additionally, candidates will be brought to WLU to present themselves and talk to students. The date for these presentations has not yet been determined. Sydney Burkle, WLU’s Student Government Association’s President said, “I hope to make the students feel like they have a hand in choosing the new president, and I hope to be able to make campus feel like home again”.

For more information regarding the presidential search, visit West Liberty News and Media Relations to stay up to date.