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News >  Education

WSU interviewing eight finalists for president job

Chad Sokol Correspondent

PULLMAN – With the next Washington State University president expected to be named by April, administrators have assembled a small group to oversee the transition as Interim President Daniel Bernardo steps down from the top executive post.

Bernardo will return to the job of provost when the yet-to-be-named president takes office, the university said in a statement Wednesday. A panel of three, including Bernardo, Regent Lura Powell and Bob Drewel, a former chancellor of WSU’s Everett campus, will oversee the transition.

“We wanted to get started early and get some feedback,” Powell said. The process will involve teaching the new president about WSU’s campus, stakeholders and strategic goals, she said. “It’s about getting information and relationship-building.”

Meanwhile, the presidential search committee is conducting another round of interviews with eight finalists – a list that includes women and members of minority groups, presidents and provosts from other universities, and a candidate from the private sector.

The university whittled the original list of some 200 prospects to arrive at the finalist group. The search committee decided early on it would not release candidates’ names, even at the finalist level, to attract quality applicants without placing their careers at risk.

“If we were to make the names available, that would preclude sitting presidents from applying,” WSU spokesman Robert Strenge said. “That would basically tip off their own universities that they’re looking to go elsewhere.”

Job applicants are covered by an exemption in Washington public records laws.

Bernardo served as WSU’s provost under President Elson Floyd. He assumed the presidency when Floyd died of complications from colon cancer in June at age 59.

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