Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

University reveals list of presidential hopefuls

By Reis Thebault, Editor-in-Chief and Emily Tate, Managing Editor

At least 23 applicants are vying for the position of Miami University's next president, a Miami Student records request shows, though sources suspect these are not the only applicants being considered by the Board of Trustees, the Presidential Search Committee and the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller.

The Student's records request - which revealed the names, resumes and curricula vitae of each applicant - comes several months into Miami's presidential search.

In September, the Board of Trustees announced the search would be closed, conducted away from the public eye.

The search began in the fall, and the board expects to announce the sole finalist in the spring. The Search Committee and Isaacson, Miller seek to find a replacement for David Hodge, the current university president, who will retire in June after serving at Miami for a decade.

The presidential applications include a range of professions, levels of experience, races and nationalities. Most applicants are in academia and hold administrative positions at their current universities, but several are chief executive officers (CEOs), attorneys or entrepreneurs.

Of the 23 applicants, 22 are male and one is female. Each of the 22 males holds a doctorate degree, 20 of which are Ph.D.s or Ph.D. equivalents and two of which are J.D.s. The female applicant holds a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Twenty candidates have experience in higher education. Sixteen of those candidates have held or currently hold administrative positions, including positions of dean, provost and university president. Several candidates have spent years in the business sector and two are currently CEOs.

Fourteen of the 23 candidates received all of their higher education in the United States, while seven indicated that they had earned degrees both domestically and abroad. Two candidates received all of their education outside of the United States. Candidates graduated from universities in Canada, Egypt, Iran, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.

Two applicants stand out for their years working in the White House, while another applicant may be hoping to distance himself from his past.

Before assuming his current position of visiting professor at Georgetown University, James Baker devoted much of his career to the U.S. government.

Most recently, Baker served 15 years as a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces - for four of those years, he was Chief Judge. He spent much of the '90s advising President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, as well as members of the National Security Council.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

Baker has also worked as an attorney-adviser for the U.S. Department of State and is an advisory board member for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Oliver McGee, another Miami presidential applicant, served as a senior policy analyst for the White House Office of Science and U.S. deputy assistant secretary of transportation for technology policy, both during the Clinton Administration.

Today, McGee is professor of mechanical engineering for Howard University.

Tony Atwater, however, was terminated from his position as president of Norfolk State University (NSU) in 2013, according to the Virginian-Pilot news agency. In the article, which cites problems in completing audits as one of the reasons he was fired, Atwater is quoted calling the reasons for his dismissal "subjective."

He applied to be president of Kent State University several months after he was fired, the same newspaper reported, but today, Atwater remains a professor for the Department of Mass Communications and Journalism at NSU.

Several candidates have decades of experience in academia, including years spent in senior administrative positions.

As of July 2015, Cecil P. Staton has held the position of interim president for Valdosta State University in Georgia.

At the same time, he has continued to act as vice-chancellor for extended education for the University Systems of Georgia, which encompasses 30 colleges and universities throughout the state, including the University of Georgia, Georgia State University and Georgia Institute of Technology.

Staton also spent about 10 years as a Georgia State Senator, serving from 2004-2014.

Andrew Rogerson is currently the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Sonoma State University. In the past, he has held dean positions at California State University and Marshall University.

Ronald Brown is the associate vice chancellor of academic affairs for the University of North Texas System. He recently served as the president of the University of North Texas at Dallas, from 2013-2015.

Other applicants and their current or most recent places of employment are: Mohamed Abousalem, CEO at Tecterra; Ali Cyrus Banan, executive vice president of education, research and medical affairs at the University of Windsor School of Medicine; Robert C. Beatty, dean of the business school at Florida Gulf Coast University; David Bejou, dean of business and social sciences at West Virginia State University; David P. Dauwalder, interim president of Woodbury University; Sanaz Ghaderi, president and chairwoman of the board for Fondation Tournesol et Amour; Hilary Inyang, president and CEO of Global Education and Infrastructure Services; Paul Jarley, dean of the college of business administration for the University of Central Florida; Walter Johnson, chairman of mathematics and computer science department at Coppin State University; Hadi Salavitabar, chief strategy officer for the International Academic Alliance; Donald Siegel, dean and professor of management at the school of business, State University of New York in Albany; Ronald T. Spriggs, an attorney at Spriggs Law Office; Scott Stoddart, associate provost for the college of criminal justice at the City University of New York; Osama Sadik Tayeb, president of King Abdoulaziz University; Scott Testa, assistant business professor at State University of New York-Delhi; Jim Weese, professor and dean of health sciences at the University of Western Ontario.