WVU still working on interim president

MARTINSBURG – Nearly three weeks after West Virginia University President Jim Clements announced he was resigning to move to Clemson University, the school’s board of governors is still working toward naming an interim replacement for him.

Members met in Morgantown on Tuesday for that purpose. No decision was made and another session has been scheduled for Thursday, according to The Associated Press.

A list of candidates was significantly shortened when the board met in a closed executive session Nov. 21, according to an earlier interview with board Chairman Jim Dailey II.

In addition to naming an interim president, members must also go through a formalized process to create a search committee, Dailey said.

Both the interim president and a new president must also be approved by the state Higher Education Policy Commission.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for Friday in South Charleston, said communications director Jessica Tice.

She said the agenda, which was prepared Nov. 22, includes an item for a possible executive session to discuss personnel. It will provide an opportunity if commission members need to discuss the West Virginia presidential search and possible approval of an interim president, Tice said Tuesday afternoon in a telephone interview from Charleston.

“It’s just on the agenda in case it is needed,” she said. No decisions can be made in a closed session, per state law.

Right from the start, members knew they had a big job ahead of them, especially since they hope a new president will be in place for fall 2014, Dailey said.

An interim president, C. Peter Magrath, served for about five months before the job was offered to Clements.

Clements, who spent nearly five years in Morgantown, plans to be in his new South Carolina post in January.