It’s down to 3 finalists for NCCU top post

Jan. 23, 2013 @ 05:45 PM

The president of the UNC system could decide on who will be the next chancellor of N.C. Central University within two weeks.

“We sent the list of our three finalists [for the post] to President [Tom] Ross this week,” Dwight Perry, the chair of the NCCU Board of Trustees, said Wednesday. “The president is now going through the process of review and we’re hopeful that at the Board of Governors’ Feb. 8 meeting he will present his recommendation.”

The governors must ratify Ross’ choice before the university can officially welcome the 12th chancellor in its history.

The trustees last Friday unanimously approved the list of three finalists forwarded to the board by the NCCU chancellor search committee. The names of the three candidates, culled from 65 official applicants for the post, have not been revealed.

But “they are all excellent, excellent candidates,” Perry said. “We were really quite satisfied with the pool of candidates and we were able to very easily advance the three names to the president. We think any of them could do the job, could do an excellent job.”

Harold Epps, the chair of the search committee and also a member of the board of trustees, said the three finalists have impressive resumés.

“They all have strong, deep academic backgrounds,” Epps said. “All three have Ph.Ds. All three bring a wealth and breadth of experience that is consistent with the attributes we laid out in our leadership statement. I think we’re confident that any would be a capable chancellor.”

The search committee began looking early in the fall for a replacement for Charlie Nelms, who announced suddenly last July that he was stepping down as chancellor after five years in the post. Following application reviews and a series of in-person interviews, by last week the search committee had narrowed the list of potential new chancellors to four or five.

Cutting the number down to the three finalists, Epps said, was difficult.

“We had a strong slate and that last round, cutting the person right about the final three, was a difficult call,” he said. “It was challenging, but it never got to the contentious level.”

Reggie McCrimmon, the student body president and a member of both the board and the search committee, said he was confident in the ability of any of the three finalists to lead the campus.

“I am impressed by their records and credentials and how they align with the strategic goals of the university,” McCrimmon said. “I think President Ross has an extremely difficult decision ahead of him.”