SFA to gather input from community before search for next university president

SFA to gather input from community before search for next university president
Search begins for next SFA President

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Stephen F. Austin State University is preparing to launch its search for its next university president, but before it does, it’s holding an open forum to get input from the students, faculty, and the community of Nacogdoches.

The search firm for a new president for SFA will be on campus Monday, March 11 and Tuesday, March 12 to conduct an open forum. The search firm hopes to get plenty of feedback about what qualities the next president of SFA should have.

'This university has such a key role in this entire community and it’s done such a great job of lifting people’s lives up," said Alton Frailey, chairman of the search committee and regent at SFA. “So we think that we must have the community ownership continue, we must have the community acceptance of what we’re doing at the university, and we must have community support as well."

It’s a way for SFA to carry on the community spirit established by its well-liked leader, the late Dr. Baker Pattillo.

“This is the first I’ve heard of something like this because typically regents want to keep it kinda close to the vest, but for us we know the community is important and we want to make sure we have quality input," said Frailey.

The search firm will present several questions.

“Question one is, what are your aspirations for the university. Then we’ll talk about the type of person we want to have to come lead the university and then we’ll talk about the opportunities and challenges that we see," explained Frailey.

Presidential candidates won't find a university in turmoil, but one in transition. It's something student body president Jeffrey Agouna has observed for the last three years.

“I think a president should be open to a perspective that offers student inclusiveness, as well as diversity. This campus is starting to thrive in diversity, I've noticed," said the SFA junior.

The open dialogue will be ongoing throughout the presidential search. Monday is the open forum. Day two is for focus groups.

“Several groups have been identified to meet with. And when we get down to the finalists our intention is to bring them to town and meet with some other key community leaders as well," said Frailey.

Agouna will have a place at the table.

“I will be sitting on that committee and I think it's of the utmost honor and privilege to be able to have a say on who will be stepping up to this great leadership role."

It's an opportunity for alumni, high schools, junior colleges and cities across Deep and East Texas to have their voice heard during this important decision process.

The SFA Presidential Search Open Forum will be from 2:30 to 3:30, Monday, in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Theatre.

Members of the SFA search committee and search firm representatives have invited the public to join them for an open forum Monday, March 11 at 2:30 p.m. in the Baker Patillo Student Center on the SFA campus.

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