Two Missouri Universities Announce Presidential Candidates

Drury University and Missouri State University announced their candidates for president this week.
Photo courtesy of Drury University

Two major Southwest Missouri universities will have new presidents—the CEO of the academic world—by the end of the year. Missouri State University and Drury University, both in Springfield, announced final candidates for their respective openings this week.

Missouri Sate University finalized its two candidates for president on Sep. 24 before the expected election day on Nov.1.

MSU Interim President Clif Smart and Murray State University President Randy J. Dunn have both found favor in the board’s eyes despite their markedly different backgrounds. 

Dunn, 54, holding a doctoral degree in educational administration, became the president of Murray State University in 2006. His rival, Smart, 52, had been serving as MSU’s general counsel before taking over James E. Cofer as the interim president of MSU in 2011.

The board says it’s going be a hard choice.

Meanwhile, Drury University narrowed down its final presidential candidates from the original 65 applicants to three “Davids” on the same day. 

David Manuel is currently the chancellor and an economics professor at Louisiana State University at Alexandria. David McInally currently works as the executive vice president and treasurer at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa. David Steele serves as the dean of the college of business at San José State University in California.

The Drury President Search Committee conducted the selection by using new technology and social media, evaluating submitted videos as well as through in-person interviews. All three candidates will start visiting campus after Sep. 29.  

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