The Pennsylvania State Board of Governors announced Monday that William Williams, current provost of Slippery Rock University, will not serve as interim president following current president Robert Smith’s retirement next week.
An email from the SRU Council of Trustees was sent out to all SRU faculty Monday with the announcement.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s (PASSHE) Board of Governors asked Dr. Williams to remain their chief negotiator rather than to take the position of interim president of SRU.
This decision was made because of Dr. Williams’ important role in the current negotiations between PASSHE and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculities’ (APSCUF) negotiations.
APSCUF is the official union for the faculty and coaches of the 14 state colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, explained Dr. Jace Condravy, SRU English Department Chairperson and the president of the SRU chapter of APSCUF. The group’s contract expired in June and they are now actively negotiating with PASSHE on topics such as salaries, benefits, grievance and the curriculum in order to create a new contract.
Dr. Williams is so important to PASSHE because he is the only member who has had experience negotiating withAPSCUF in previous contract agreements, Dr. Condravy said.
In addition to his role as chief negotiator for PASSHE, Dr. Williams will also remain the vice president of SRU.
The email stated that the interim president has not been announced yet. Potential candidates for a temporary president are most likely going to be discussed at the next SRU Council of Trustees meeting today.
Campus Coordinator Tina Moser said that the SRU community is welcome to attend the campus open sessions throughout the week held by Eric Holmes, Presidential Coordinator, in order to select SRU’s next president.
These sessions will allow the community to meet and interview the presidential candidates.
The schedule can accessed by visiting the SRU Presidential Search website at http://www.sru.edu/president/Pages/PresidentialSearch.aspx .
Three days before each candidate visits, their profiles will be posted on the website. Their profiles will include the candidate’s Curriculum Vitae, schedule, and a link to fill out a survey.
The first candidate that has been announced is Dr. Cheryl Norton who will be visiting Monday, Jan. 30 and Tuesday, Jan. 31. She will be having lunch with SRU student leaders at Boozel from 12 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. Tuesday.
She will also be at the open forum with the Slippery Rock campus and community, which will be held at the Alumni House from 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Tuesday.
After attending the open forum, students, faculty and community members will be able to complete a survey about their opinion of the candidate on the SRU Presidential Search website.
“It’s important from the trustee’s standpoint that the community is involved. This is going to be our president. We’re looking for feedback from the community,” said Moser.
The next presidential candidate is expected to be announced Tuesday, and will be visiting campus Thursday, Feb. 2 and Friday, Feb. 3.
The SRU Council of Trustees hopes to have a new president in place by summer.
Dr. William Williams refused to comment.