Listening sessions scheduled as board looks for new ASU president

LORMAN — Members of the Board Search Committee appointed by College Board president Aubrey Patterson to lead the search for the next president of Alcorn State University will hear from constituency groups in Campus Listening Sessions Feb. 19.

The discussions will center on the qualities and qualifications stakeholders believe the next institutional executive officer should possess.

The Campus Listening Sessions will be held in the Clinton Bristow Jr. Dining Hall on the Alcorn State University campus in Lorman. While all sessions are open to the public, each session focuses on the needs of a specific constituency group.

Chaired by trustee C.D. Smith, the Board Search Committee includes trustees Ed Blakeslee, Bob Owens and Robin Robinson.

Former Alcorn State University president M. Christopher Brown II resigned last December amid an investigation into university purchasing practices.

In a resignation letter, he said he wanted to resign because “the emergent management focus on internal operations confirms that now is an ideal time to transition.”

Bounds said in December that a continuing investigation into purchasing practices had already led to the resignation of two other Alcorn employees. They included special assistant for university initiatives Jeremy Mason and former CFO Betty Roberts.

In December, Bounds wouldn’t say whether Brown is believed to have done anything wrong. He said the College Board has turned over its findings to state Auditor Stacey Pickering and the state Ethics Commission. That’s an indication that civil or criminal penalties could be pending against those involved.

Norris Edney, a former interim president at Alcorn State, was named acting president immediately.

“Any time you have a leadership change, you have questions about what’s next and who’s going to lead,” Bounds said in December. “I think we have good momentum and I think the board will be very committed to moving quickly through a search process.”

Brown had led Alcorn State since 2010 and brought national recognition to the 5,000-student land-grant university in southwest Mississippi. Alcorn was named the historically black college of the year in 2012, and recruited Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of Medgar Evers, to join its faculty.

Before becoming president of Alcorn State, Brown was provost at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., and dean of education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

 

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